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S. Korea's economy skids for first time in 22 years
South Korea’s economy shrank one percent last year, marking the first annual contraction in 22 years, as the pandemic shuttered service industry jobs and curtailed spending.
It was in1998 when the country's economy last suffered a drop, which was caused by the financial crisis.
The one percent contraction was unchanged from the bank's earlier estimate.
However, the economy grew 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter from the third quarter, which was 0.1 percent higher than expected.
A 5.2 percent surge in exports, following a 16.0 percent increase in the third quarter, fueled the fourth-quarter growth.
Meanwhile, private consumption and facility investment dropped 1.5 and 2.0 percent, respectively.
The Bank of Korea expects South Korea’s economy to recover modestly recovery this year driven by exports. But the job market would have a longer recovery period due to the pandemic's impact on services industries such as transportation and restaurants.