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Korea, South Economy 2009
http://www.geographic.org/wfb2009/korea_south/korea_south_economy.html
SOURCE: 2009 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

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Economy - overview:
Since the 1960s, South Korea has achieved an incredible record of growth and integration into the high-tech modern world economy. Four decades ago, GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. In 2004, South Korea joined the trillion dollar club of world economies. In 2008, its GDP per capita was roughly the same as that of the Czech Republic and New Zealand. Initially, this success was achieved by a system of close government/business ties including directed credit, import restrictions, sponsorship of specific industries, and a strong labor effort. The government promoted the import of raw materials and technology at the expense of consumer goods and encouraged savings and investment over consumption. The Asian financial crisis of 1997-98 exposed longstanding weaknesses in South Korea's development model including high debt/equity ratios, massive foreign borrowing, and an undisciplined financial sector. GDP plunged by 6.9% in 1998, then recovered by 9% in 1999-2000. Korea adopted numerous economic reforms following the crisis, including greater openness to foreign investment and imports. Growth fell back to 3.3% in 2001 because of the slowing global economy, falling exports, and the perception that much-needed corporate and financial reforms had stalled. Led by consumer spending and exports, growth in 2002 was an impressive 7% despite anemic global growth. Between 2003 and 2007, growth moderated to about 4-5% annually. A downturn in consumer spending was offset by rapid export growth. In 2008, inflation increased in the face of rising oil and food prices before easing in the fourth quarter. Korea was hit hard by the global financial turmoil that began in September 2008. Stock prices fell by more than 40% for the year and the value of the won fell by approximately 26%. Korean GDP shrank in the fourth quarter and GDP growth for the year was just 2.5%. The Korean government adopted several measures to combat the credit crunch and stimulate the economy.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.278 trillion (2008 est.)
$1.247 trillion (2007)
$1.173 trillion (2006)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$857.5 billion (2008 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
2.5% (2008 est.)
5% (2007 est.)
5.1% (2006 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$26,000 (2008 est.)
$25,500 (2007 est.)
$24,400 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3%
industry: 39.5%
services: 57.6% (2008 est.)

Labor force:
24.35 million (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 7.2%
industry: 25.1%
services: 67.7% (2007)

Unemployment rate:
3.2% (2008 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.7%
highest 10%: 24.2% (2007)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
31.3 (2007)

Investment (gross fixed):
27.1% of GDP (2008 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $232.2 billion
expenditures: $222.9 billion (2008 est.)

Public debt:
32.7% of GDP (2008 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4.7% (2008 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
3% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
7% (31 December 2008)

Stock of money:
$80.66 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of quasi money:
$478 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:
$937 billion (31 December 2008)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$623 billion (31 December 2008)

Agriculture - products:
rice, root crops, barley, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs, chickens, milk, eggs; fish

Industries:
electronics, telecommunications, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, steel

Industrial production growth rate:
4.5% (2008 est.)

Electricity - production:
440 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - consumption:
385.1 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:
20,970 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - consumption:
2.08 million bbl/day (2008 est.)

Oil - exports:
910,000 bbl/day
note: exports consist of oil derivatives (gasoline, light oil, and diesel), not crude oil (2008 est.)

Oil - imports:
2.37 million bbl/day (2008)

Oil - proved reserves:
NA bbl

Natural gas - production:
640 million cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
37 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - imports:
34.4 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
50 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)

Current account balance:
-$6.41 billion (2008)

Exports:
$419 billion f.o.b. (2008)

Exports - commodities:
semiconductors, wireless telecommunications equipment, motor vehicles, computers, steel, ships, petrochemicals

Exports - partners:
China 22.1%, US 12.4%, Japan 7.1%, Hong Kong 5% (2007)

Imports:
$435 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery, electronics and electronic equipment, oil, steel, transport equipment, organic chemicals, plastics

Imports - partners:
China 17.7%, Japan 15.8%, US 10.5%, Saudi Arabia 5.9% (2007)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$201.2 billion (31 December 2008)

Debt - external:
$380.5 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$103.7 billion (30 June 2008)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$74.6 billion (30 June 2008)

Exchange rates:
South Korean won (KRW) per US dollar - 1,101.7 (2008 est.), 929.2 (2007), 954.8 (2006), 1,024.1 (2005), 1,145.3 (2004)


NOTE: The information regarding Korea, South on this page is re-published from the 2009 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Korea, South Economy 2009 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Korea, South Economy 2009 should be addressed to the CIA.



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