SEOUL, June 28 (Korea Biziwre) — A South Korean think tank downgraded the country’s economic growth forecast for 2015, citing weak exports coupled with the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, which has claimed 32 lives.
The Korea Economic Research Institute said it has slashed the economic growth forecast to 2.7 percent for 2015, compared with the 3.4 percent in March.
The figure is lower than the 3.1 percent estimated by the South Korean government last week, on par with a forecast made by the Bank of Korea in April. The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development earlier suggested a 3-percent growth.
KERI said global economic uncertainties, including the slowing Chinese economy and the falling Japanese yen, have emerged as burdens for the export-oriented economy, adding the weakening consumers’ sentiment also added to the downgrade.
It added if the MERS fear persists through end-July, the outlook may be slashed further to 2 percent.
South Korea’s current account surplus will post an all-time high of US$105.4 billion despite falling exports, helped by the falling imports.