Seoul, April 13 (IANS) South Korea's economic growth was expected to slow to 3.4 percent this year as economic downturn in advanced nations may hamper the country's exports, which account for more than half of the economy, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Friday.
"Growth for 2012 is forecast at 3.4 percent below potential, rising moderately in 2013 to 4.0 percent. These rates are based on the expectation that (South Korea's) main export markets, including the European Union, the United States and Japan, will experience slow growth at best," ADB said in a report on the 2012 economic outlook for 45 Asian countries.
Exports were expected to expand by about 8 percent in 2012, less than half last year's rate. The fragile economic recovery in advanced countries will constrain demand for locally-made export items such as autos, electronics and other consumer durables, the ADB said.
Imports were forecast to climb faster than exports, sending the current account surplus to decline to around 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012.
Consumer price inflation was projected to retreat to 3 percent in 2012, a full percentage point lower than in 2011.
The ADB said that slower global growth will be tracked by moderating commodity prices, but the bank warned that international oil and food prices are volatile, indicating that possibilities for another supply shocks cannot be ruled out.
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