“The longest term trade deficit since the IMF”… Is the growth rate negative?

Last month, Korea’s exports fell 15.2%, showing negative growth for the eighth consecutive month.

According to data on export and import trends published by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on the 1st, exports last month were $52.2 billion, down 15.2% from the same period last year.

Semiconductor exports, the largest export item, fell 36.2% from last year to $7.37 billion, which had a big impact.

In a situation where the price of memory semiconductors such as DRAM and NAND flash is long, sluggishness in exports, the support of the Korean economy, continues.

In particular, exports to China have fallen significantly.

Exports to China amounted to $10.62 billion, down 20.8% from last year.

Amidst such slow exports, the trade deficit also recorded 2.1 billion dollars, continuing the deficit for 15 months.

The 15 consecutive months of deficit is the longest since 1997 when the Asian financial crisis hit.

The cumulative deficit from the beginning of this year to May has already exceeded 27 billion dollars.

The government evaluates that there are some positive signs despite sluggish exports.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance Choo Kyung-ho said at a meeting of foreign economy ministers held on the 2nd, “Exports to China, which had been a major factor in sluggish exports, reached the highest level this year .”

He added “Despite the drop in prices, semiconductor exports increased and exports improved from April.”

Compared to the same period last year, it is true that exports to China and exports of semiconductors have decreased significantly, but if you look at recent trends, there are signs of a rebound.

However, amid the global economic downturn and prolonged sluggish exports, there have been downward revisions to this year’s economic growth rate projections.

The Bank of Korea previously lowered this year’s expected economic growth rate from 1.6% to 1.4%, and the IMF lowered it from 1.7% to 1.5%.

The government plans to publish a new growth rate forecast in the second half of this month or early next month in its economic policy direction.