South Korea promises all-out efforts to boost exports, attract tourists
SEOUL – South Korea’s government on Thursday promised to make efforts to boost exports and attract tourists as the statistics agency released a mixed set of data for January that showed gloomy prospects for the economy.
Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho said at a meeting of officials the likelihood of a quick export recovery were limited but that government ministries would do their best to achieve a goal of averting a decline in exports.
He also said the government would make efforts to attract more foreign tourists, whose arrivals so far this year he said have recovered to some 40 percent of the levels seen before the COVID-19 pandemic started 2020.
The comments came as Statistics Korea data showed Asia’s fourth-largest economy could be headed for a recession with the cyclically adjusted coincident index falling in January for a fourth consecutive month.
Industrial output rose on the month but plunged on the year, while retail sales decreased for a third consecutive month, the data showed.
The trade-reliant economy contracted by an estimated 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022 from the previous quarter as exports collapsed.