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World > Asia > Korea, South > Economy (Facts)

Korea, South - Economy (Facts)
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. Today its GDP per capita is equal to the lesser economies of the EU. 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 1997-99 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 9.5% in 1999 and 8.5% in 2000. 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 2006, growth moderated to about 4-5%. A downturn in consumer spending was offset by rapid export growth. Moderate inflation, low unemployment, an export surplus, and fairly equal distribution of income characterize this solid economy.
GDP - real growth rate: 4.8% (2006 est.)
GDP (purchasing power parity): $1.196 trillion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $897.4 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $24,500 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 3%
industry: 45%
services: 52% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line: 15% (2003 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 25% (2005 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.2% (2006 est.)
Labor force: 23.77 million (31 December 2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 6.4%
industry: 26.4%
services: 67.2% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate: 3.3% (December 2006 est.)
Budget: revenues: $200 billion
expenditures: $201 billion; including capital expenditures of NA (2006 est.)
Industries: electronics, telecommunications, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, steel
Industrial production growth rate: 8% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production: 345.2 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - consumption: 321 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2004)
Oil - production: 7,378 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption: 2.149 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - exports: 644,100 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports: 2.83 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 28.93 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products: rice, root crops, barley, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs, chickens, milk, eggs; fish
Exports: $326 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities: semiconductors, wireless telecommunications equipment, motor vehicles, computers, steel, ships, petrochemicals
Exports - partners: China 24.7%, US 13.1%, Japan 7.5%, Hong Kong 4.2%, Taiwan 4.1% (2006)
Imports: $309.3 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery, electronics and electronic equipment, oil, steel, transport equipment, organic chemicals, plastics
Imports - partners: Japan 17.4%, China 15.4%, US 11.2%, Saudi Arabia 6.4% (2006)
Debt - external: $249.4 billion (30 September 2006 est.)
Currency: Korean Won (KRW)

Current Korean Won Exchange Rates
Historical Korean Won Exchange Rates
Chart Korean Won Exchange Rates
Currency code: KRW
Exchange rates: South Korean won per US dollar - 955.3 (2006), 1,024.1 (2005), 1,145.3 (2004), 1,191.6 (2003), 1,251.1 (2002)
Fiscal year: calendar year


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Korean Won Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Korean Won Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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