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OECD Economic Surveys: Korea 2003

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Korea 2003

This 2003 edition of OECD's periodic review of Korea's economy  examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects and includes special features on reforming the public expenditure system and structural reform.

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Recent Trends and Prospects

Economic growth decelerated from 9 per cent in 2000 to 3 per cent in 2001 in the context of a marked slowdown in the world economy (Figure 1). However, Korea’s first downturn since the 1997 financial crisis was short-lived, thanks to robust private consumption and a rebound in construction investment, which led to a recovery beginning in the final quarter of 2001. The strong growth in these two components was driven by buoyant bank lending, reflecting success in overcoming credit-crunch conditions through a comprehensive financial-sector restructuring programme. In addition, supportive macroeconomic policies played an important role in Korea’s early recovery (see Chapter II). Economic growth accelerated to 6 per cent (year-on-year) in the first three quarters of 2002, despite weak investment in machinery and equipment and exports in the early part of the year. However, by mid-2002, exports had also rebounded, led by the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.

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