The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday kept its 2021 growth outlook for the South Korean economy at 4 percent, as economic recovery momentum has remained unscathed despite the latest resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
The Manila-based bank maintained its 2021 growth forecast for Asia’s fourth-largest economy at the same level as its July estimate. The ADB also kept its 2022 growth outlook for Korea at 3.1 percent.
The bank’s outlook is on a par with the growth estimates by the Bank of Korea (BOK) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast 4.3 percent for Korea this year.
Asia’s fourth-largest economy is on a recovery track on the back of solid exports despite the fourth wave of the pandemic.
The Korean economy grew a revised 0.8 percent in the second quarter from three months earlier, slowing from a 1.7 percent on-quarter gain in the first quarter, according to central bank data.
Exports, which account for half of the country’s economy, rose 35 percent on-year in August, extending their gains to the 10th straight month.
The recent flare-up in COVID-19 cases has heightened uncertainty about the recovery of private spending. But its impact on domestic demand appears to be less severe compared with previous waves of the pandemic.
The ADB, meanwhile, lowered its 2021 growth outlook for 46 developing Asian countries to 7.1 percent from its July estimate of 7.2 percent, citing the global flare-up in COVID-19 cases. Its 2022 growth forecast for the region was maintained at 5.4 percent.