South Korea GDP shrinks 3.3 percent in second quarter

Kyodo News

Posted at Jul 23 2020 08:32 PM

SEOUL - South Korea's economy shrank 3.3 percent in the April-June period, compared with the previous three months, amid the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the country's central bank said Thursday.

It was the sharpest quarter-on-quarter decline in real gross domestic product since the first quarter of 1998, when the economy shrank 6.8 percent in the wake of the 1997 Asian currency crisis, according to Yonhap News Agency.

It was also the second straight quarterly decline, following a 1.3 percent contraction in the January-March period, meaning the South Korean economy can be seen as in recession, according to the Bank of Korea.

Exports, such as automobiles, fell 16.6 percent, the sharpest decline in around 56 years.

Compared with the same period a year earlier, Asia's fourth-largest economy contracted 2.9 percent, the bank said in its advance estimate for the second quarter of 2020.

The fallout from the pandemic quickened the pace of economic downturn, which had been in progress since the economy peaked in the fall of 2017, the central bank said.