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South Korea’s imports rise as a share of GDP

South Korea‘s imports rose as a proportion of its GDP from 28.5% in 2020 to 34.2% in 2021, according to data released by The Korea Development Bank.

Based on preliminary data, South Korea’s GDP growth in the first half of 2022 was 2.9% at chained 2015 prices, as aggregate private sector and general government consumption expenditures rose 4.5% and exports of goods and services grew 6.0 percent.

Those data more than offset an increase in imports of goods and services of 3.5 percent and a decline in gross fixed capital formation of 3.3 percent, in each case, compared to the corresponding period in 2021.

Previously, the share of South Korea’s imports in that nation’s GDP was 29.5% in 2017, 31.1% in 2018 and 30.7% in 2019.

Now, the Republic’s GDP may be negatively affected in 2022 if the adverse effects of the current Covid-19 pandemic are prolonged.

Korea’s imports

Due to its lack of natural resources, South Korea relies on extensive trade activity for its growth.

The country meets virtually all of its domestic oil, timber and rubber needs with imports, as well as much of its coal and iron needs.

At the same time, exports consistently account for a high percentage of GDP and, therefore, the international economic environment is of crucial importance to the economy of the Republic of Korea.

According to preliminary data, South Korea recorded a trade deficit of $10.3 billion in the first half of 2022.

On the one hand, exports increased 15.6% to $350.5 billion in 1H2022 from $303.1 billion in the corresponding period of 2021, mainly due to improved domestic economic conditions in the Republic’s major trading partners.

On the other hand, imports increased 26.2% to $360.8 billion in 1H2022 from $285.8 billion in the corresponding period of 2021, mainly due to an increase in oil prices, which also led to an increase in unit prices of other major raw materials.

As for exports as a percentage of GDP, this indicator rose from 31.2% in 2020 to 35.8% in 2021.

 

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