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Korea, South Economy 2019

SOURCE: 2019 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES











Korea, South Economy 2019
SOURCE: 2019 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES


Page last updated on February 08, 2019

Economy - overview:
After emerging from the 1950-53 war with North Korea, South Korea emerged as one of the 20th century’s most remarkable economic success stories, becoming a developed, globally connected, high-technology society within decades. In the 1960s, GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorest countries in the world. In 2004, South Korea's GDP surpassed one trillion dollars.

Beginning in the 1960s under President PARK Chung-hee, the government promoted the import of raw materials and technology, encouraged saving and investment over consumption, kept wages low, and directed resources to export-oriented industries that remain important to the economy to this day. Growth surged under these policies, and frequently reached double-digits in the 1960s and 1970s. Growth gradually moderated in the 1990s as the economy matured, but remained strong enough to propel South Korea into the ranks of the advanced economies of the OECD by 1997. These policies also led to the emergence of family-owned chaebol conglomerates such as Daewoo, Hyundai, and Samsung, which retained their dominant positions even as the government loosened its grip on the economy amid the political changes of the 1980s and 1990s.

The Asian financial crisis of 1997-98 hit South Korea’s companies hard because of their excessive reliance on short-term borrowing, and GDP ultimately plunged by 7% in 1998. South Korea tackled difficult economic reforms following the crisis, including restructuring some chaebols, increasing labor market flexibility, and opening up to more foreign investment and imports. These steps lead to a relatively rapid economic recovery. South Korea also began expanding its network of free trade agreements to help bolster exports, and has since implemented 16 free trade agreements covering 58 countries—including the United State and China—that collectively cover more than three-quarters of global GDP.

In 2017, the election of President MOON Jae-in brought a surge in consumer confidence, in part, because of his successful efforts to increase wages and government spending. These factors combined with an uptick in export growth to drive real GDP growth to more than 3%, despite disruptions in South Korea’s trade with China over the deployment of a US missile defense system in South Korea.

In 2018 and beyond, South Korea will contend with gradually slowing economic growth - in the 2-3% range - not uncommon for advanced economies. This could be partially offset by efforts to address challenges arising from its rapidly aging population, inflexible labor market, continued dominance of the chaebols, and heavy reliance on exports rather than domestic consumption. Socioeconomic problems also persist, and include rising inequality, poverty among the elderly, high youth unemployment, long working hours, low worker productivity, and corruption.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$2.035 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.974 trillion (2016 est.)
$1.918 trillion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 14
[see also: GDP country ranks ]

GDP (official exchange rate):
$1.54 trillion (2017 est.)
[see also: GDP (official exchange rate) country ranks ]

GDP - real growth rate:
3.1% (2017 est.)
2.9% (2016 est.)
2.8% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
[see also: GDP - real growth rate country ranks ]

GDP - per capita:
$39,500 (2017 est.)
$38,500 (2016 est.)
$37,600 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 46
[see also: GDP - per capita country ranks ]

Gross national saving:
36.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
36.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
36.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
[see also: Gross national saving country ranks ]

GDP - composition, by end use:
household consumption: 48.1% (2017 est.)
[see also: GDP - composition, by end use - household consumption country ranks ]
government consumption: 15.3% (2017 est.)
[see also: GDP - composition, by end use - government consumption country ranks ]
investment in fixed capital: 31.1% (2017 est.)
[see also: GDP - composition, by end use - investment in fixed capital country ranks ]
investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)
[see also: GDP - composition, by end use - investment in inventories country ranks ]
exports of goods and services: 43.1% (2017 est.)
[see also: GDP - composition, by end use - exports of goods and services country ranks ]
imports of goods and services: -37.7% (2017 est.)
[see also: GDP - composition, by end use - imports of goods and services country ranks ]

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 2.2% (2017 est.)
[see also: GDP - composition, by sector of origin - agriculture country ranks ]
industry: 39.3% (2017 est.)
[see also: GDP - composition, by sector of origin - industry country ranks ]
services: 58.3% (2017 est.)
[see also: GDP - composition, by sector of origin - services country ranks ]

Agriculture - products:
rice, root crops, barley, vegetables, fruit, cattle, pigs, chickens, milk, eggs, fish

Industries:
electronics, telecommunications, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, steel

Industrial production growth rate:
4.6% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63
[see also: Industrial production growth rate country ranks ]

Labor force:
27.75 million (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
[see also: Labor force country ranks ]

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 4.8%
[see also: Labor force - by occupation - agriculture country ranks ]
industry: 24.6%
[see also: Labor force - by occupation - industry country ranks ]
services: 70.6% (2017 est.)
[see also: Labor force - by occupation - services country ranks ]

Unemployment rate:
3.7% (2017 est.)
3.7% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45
[see also: Unemployment rate country ranks ]

Population below poverty line:
14.4% (2016 est.)
[see also: Population below poverty line country ranks ]

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 6.8%
[see also: Household income or consumption by percentage share - lowest 10% country ranks ]
highest 10%: 48.5% (2015 est.)
[see also: Household income or consumption by percentage share - highest 10% country ranks ]

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
35.7 (2016 est.)
35.4 (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94
[see also: Distribution of family income - Gini index country ranks ]

Budget:
revenues: 357.1 billion (2017 est.)
[see also: Budget - revenues country ranks ]
expenditures: 335.8 billion (2017 est.)
[see also: Budget - expenditures country ranks ]

Taxes and other revenues:
23.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
[see also: Taxes and other revenues country ranks ]

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
1.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24
[see also: Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) country ranks ]

Public debt:
39.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
39.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133
[see also: Public debt country ranks ]

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.9% (2017 est.)
1% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97
[see also: Inflation rate (consumer prices) country ranks ]

Central bank discount rate:
1.5% (31 December 2017 est.)
1.25% (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126
[see also: Central bank discount rate country ranks ]

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
3.48% (31 December 2017 est.)
3.37% (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
[see also: Commercial bank prime lending rate country ranks ]

Stock of narrow money:
$793.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$658.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8
[see also: Stock of narrow money country ranks ]

Stock of broad money:
$793.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$658.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8
[see also: Stock of broad money country ranks ]

Stock of domestic credit:
$2.986 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.515 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
[see also: Stock of domestic credit country ranks ]

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$1.305 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.28 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.269 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11
[see also: Market value of publicly traded shares country ranks ]

Current account balance:
$78.46 billion (2017 est.)
$99.24 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6
[see also: Current account balance country ranks ]

Exports:
$577.4 billion (2017 est.)
$512 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5
[see also: Exports country ranks ]

Exports - partners:
China 25.1%, US 12.2%, Vietnam 8.2%, Hong Kong 6.9%, Japan 4.7% (2017)

Exports - commodities:
semiconductors, petrochemicals, automobile/auto parts, ships, wireless communication equipment, flat displays, steel, electronics, plastics, computers

Imports:
$457.5 billion (2017 est.)
$393.1 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
[see also: Imports country ranks ]

Imports - commodities:
crude oil/petroleum products, semiconductors, natural gas, coal, steel, computers, wireless communication equipment, automobiles, fine chemicals, textiles

Imports - partners:
China 20.5%, Japan 11.5%, US 10.5%, Germany 4.2%, Saudi Arabia 4.1% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$389.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$371.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
[see also: Reserves of foreign exchange and gold country ranks ]

Debt - external:
$384.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$384.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
[see also: Debt - external country ranks ]

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$230.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$180.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
[see also: Stock of direct foreign investment - at home country ranks ]

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$344.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$358 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20
[see also: Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad country ranks ]

Exchange rates:
South Korean won (KRW) per US dollar -
1,130.48 (2017 est.)
1,160.41 (2016 est.)
1,160.77 (2015 est.)
1,130.95 (2014 est.)
1,052.96 (2013 est.)


NOTE: 1) The information regarding Korea, South on this page is re-published from the 2019 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Korea, South Economy 2019 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Korea, South Economy 2019 should be addressed to the CIA.
2) The rank that you see is the CIA reported rank, which may habe the following issues:
  a) They assign increasing rank number, alphabetically for countries with the same value of the ranked item, whereas we assign them the same rank.
  b) The CIA sometimes assignes counterintuitive ranks. For example, it assigns unemployment rates in increasing order, whereas we rank them in decreasing order






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