As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic the South Korean economy is suffering “the worst crisis since the collapse of the Asian stock exchanges”, which occurred in 1998. Confirmation came today, with the presentation of the data for the second economic quarter of 2020.
According to the Bank of Korea, the national gross domestic product lost 2.9 percentage points over the previous year. In 1998, the contraction was 3.8%.
The most affected sector was the export sector, with a drop of 13.6% in the second quarter. This is the worst drop in the segment since the fourth quarter of 1974.
Presenting the data, the National Bank explained that the forecasts speak of a contraction of 2% in the period between April and June: “The blame – says the director of the sector for economic statistics Park Yang-su – is in a large part of Covid -19. For the future, we will have to understand how the pandemic will proceed and how the various nations will react.”
Deputy prime minister and head of the finance ministry, Hong Nam-ki, said he was confident and unveiled government plans to support the economy: “The internal market shows signs of recovery, the drop in GDP is due to mostly from external factors.”
The crisis, a Catholic source told AsiaNews, “has already begun to cast a shadow on society. The unemployed have increased, especially among the elderly. We cannot afford to ignore their request for help, so we ask the government not to think only of industrial recovery but also of welfare”.