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IMF: S. Korea's GDP Per Capita to Stay Below $20,000 Until 2014

clock03-29-2010, 12:28 AM
Yorum: #1
05-05-2009 18:33

Per Capita GDP to Stay Below $20,000 Until 2014

By Kim Tae-gyu

Staff Reporter

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that Korea risks facing stagflation, or the deadly combination of a fast rise in prices and slow economic growth, over the next few years.

In its recent report on the world economy, IMF said Korea's per capita gross domestic product (GDP) will shrink 22 percent this year to $14,945 from 2008 and will fail to reach $20,000 through 2014.

In comparison, the inflation rate is expected to average 3 percent from 2010 to 2014, the highest among 33 countries classified as developed by the IMF.

In particular, the Washington-based organization took issue with Korea's non-financial private debts that combine corporate and household liabilities.

``The global economy is in a severe recession inflicted by a massive financial crisis and an acute loss of confidence,'' the IMF said in the annual World Economic Outlook.

``Vulnerable corporate and household balance sheets will exacerbate the impact of external shocks in Korea,'' it said. As of the end of last year, the country's corporate and household debts were almost twice that of its 2008 national income.

Thanks to the so-called Goldilocks economy, per capita GDP of Asia's fourth-largest economy rose above the $20,000 milestone for the first time in 2007 to $21,695.

Contrary to stagflation, a Goldilocks economy refers to a mixture of a respectable growth rate and a low inflation, which allowed for market-friendly monetary policies around the pre-crisis world.

However, the euphoria on the era of $20,000-plus per capita income was short-lived as the figure slumped to $19,231 last year because of the global financial crisis.

The per capita GDP was projected to plunge to $14,945 this year, the second-worst among the 33 developed countries ahead of only Taiwan with $14,365.

Then, income is expected to creep up to $15,129 in 2010, $16,067 in 2011, $16,866 in 2012, $17,839 in 2013 and $19,015 in 2014.

In the meantime, the IMF projected the Korean government will record 33 trillion won and 49.8 trillion won in deficits in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

But current accounts are predicted to be in positive territory with a $20.7 billion surplus this year, which will increase for five straight years to reach $28.1 billion in 2014.

When contacted, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said that the IMF predictions feature a somewhat pessimistic outlook on the future of Korea Inc.

``IMF figures on Korea are related to the economic fluctuations of other major states. But the local economy shows signs of stabilizing without regard to the world economy. Hence, we hope things will be better than the IMF forecast,'' a ministry official said.

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clock07-07-2012, 05:58 PM
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