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S Korea's export growth predicted to drop sharply in 2009
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17:04, November 27, 2008

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South Korea is expects to post single-digit export growth in 2009 amid slowing global economy, local think tanks said on Thursday.

At a meeting hosted by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, experts from leading economic institutes said that outbound shipment may grow less than 10 percent next year, sharply down from the earlier forecast of an 18 percent gain.

The state-run Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade (KIET) said export growth may post merely 4.7 percent, while the Institute for International Trade (IIT) said an 8.6 percent gain is possible.

Private think tanks like the SK Research Institute even projected that exports could contract 2.7 percent next year.

The think tanks stressed that weak growth is inevitable as ongoing financial crisis is hurting the consumer demand and crippling business investment and employment.

The economist predicted that exports may reach 456.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2009, lower than the 500 billion U.S. dollar target set by Seoul earlier in the month.

Meanwhile, they expected imports to gain around 1.7 percent to 456.0 billion U.S. dollars for a modest surplus of 800 million U.S. dollars next year.


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