Korea's Trade Deficit to Improve Slightly This Year

  • By Jo Jae-hee

    May 31, 2023 13:22

    Korea is expected to post a smaller trade deficit this year than last year, but it will still be second largest in history, according to a report by the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade on Tuesday.
    KIET predicted that Korea's exports will drop 9.1 percent this year and imports 10.2 percent, resulting in a trade deficit of US$35.3 billion.
    That is less than last year's record of $47.8 billion but more than the previous record of $20.6 billion in 1996. 
    As of May 20, the cumulative trade deficit this year had already reached $29.5 billion. 
    Exports of most of the country's 13 main industries are forecast to stagnate or drop in the second half. Shipbuilding and secondary battery exports will increase 50.8 percent and 9.2 percent, but shipments of oil refining products, IT equipment and semiconductors are expected to decline more than 10 percent.
    Car exports, which were brisk in the first half, will grow only 0.2 percent in the second half.
    But KIET forecast that imports will also drop in money terms as global oil and raw material prices fall amid sluggish global demand.
    GDP is forecast to grow 1.7 percent in the second half and 1.4 percent for the whole year.  
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