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    Korea, South Economy - 1990

      Overview: The driving force behind the economy's dynamic growth has been the planned development of an export-oriented economy in a vigorously entrepreneurial society. GNP increased almost 13% in both 1986 and 1987 and 12% in 1988 before slowing to 6.5% in 1989. Such a rapid rate of growth was achieved with an inflation rate of only 3% in the period 1986-87, rising to 7% in 1988 and 5% in 1989. Unemployment is also low, and some labor bottlenecks have appeared in several processing industries. While the South Korean economy is expected to grow at more than 5% annually during the 1990s, labor unrest--which led to substantial wage hikes in 1987-89--threatens to undermine noninflationary growth.

      GNP: $200 billion, per capita $4,600; real growth rate 6.5% (1989)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5% (1989)

      Unemployment rate: 3% (1989)

      Budget: revenues $33.6 billion; expenditures $33.6 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (1990)

      Exports: $62.3 billion (f.o.b., 1989); commodities--textiles, clothing, electronic and electrical equipment, footwear, machinery, steel, automobiles, ships, fish; partners--US 33%, Japan 21%

      Imports: $61.3 billion (c.i.f., 1989); commodities--machinery, electronics and electronic equipment, oil, steel, transport equipment, textiles, organic chemicals, grains; partners--Japan 28%, US 25% (1990)

      External debt: $30.5 billion (September 1989)

      Industrial production: growth rate 3.5% (1989)

      Electricity: 20,500,000 kW capacity; 80,000 million kWh produced, 1,850 kWh per capita (1989)

      Industries: textiles, clothing, footwear, food processing, chemicals, steel, electronics, automobile production, ship building

      Agriculture: accounts for 11% of GNP and employs 21% of work force (including fishing and forestry); principal crops--rice, root crops, barley, vegetables, fruit; livestock and livestock products--cattle, hogs, chickens, milk, eggs; self-sufficient in food, except for wheat; fish catch of 2.9 million metric tons, seventh-largest in world

      Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-85), $3.9 billion

      Currency: South Korean won (plural--won); 1 South Korean won (W) = 100 chon (theoretical)

      Exchange rates: South Korean won (W) per US$1--683.43 (January 1990), 671.46 (1989), 731.47 (1988), 822.57 (1987), 881.45 (1986), 870.02 (1985)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Korea, South on this page is re-published from the 1990 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Korea, South Economy 1990 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Korea, South Economy 1990 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 07-Feb-03
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