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Republic of Korea - Economy

Whitaker's Almanack Version

Financial Outlook

The economy picked up steam toward the end of 2013, with GDP rising at an annual rate of 3.9% in the final quarter according to the central bank. Domestic demand was the key driver of growth during the quarter, taking over from exports, which account for half of GDP. The strength of the South Korean won, which gained 8% against the US dollar in the second half of the year, weighed on exports. The weakness of the Japanese yen has also hurt South Korean exports as Japan is a key competitor in areas such as automobiles. The economy grew by 2.8% overall in 2013, and in January 2014 the central bank forecast that the recovery would continue in 2014, predicting a 3.7% expansion. In 2013 the government introduced stimulus measures to boost the real estate market and an overall economic recovery. In January 2013 the IMF warned South Korea about its interventions in the foreign exchange rate market, and in October 2013 the US Treasury Department added its opinion that Korea should be more transparent about its activities.

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Statistics

GDP growth: 4.5% (IMF, 2011 est.)

GDP per capita: US$30,000 (2010 est.)

CPI: 3% (2010 est.)

Key interest rate: 2% (official, May 2010)

Exchange rate versus US dollar: W1,153.77 (2010)*

Unemployment: 3.3% (2010 est.)

FDI: US112.1 billion (December 31, 2010 est.)

Current account surplus: US$36.35 billion (2010 est.)

Population: 48,754,657 (July 2011 est.)

* South Korean won

Source: CIA World Factbook except where stated

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Further reading on Republic of Korea

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