Research Institutes Lower Economic Forecasts

Article excerpt

Many private research institutes begun coming up with gloomier-than- expected figures regarding the nation's macro economic targets covering annual economic growth and inflation rate.

Further, the Korea Development Institute (KDI), a state-funded think tank, joined forces with private counterparts. It now forecasts that the target figures set late last year or early this year seem unlikely to be achieved, especially given the downturn gripping the U.S. and Japanese economies.

KDI head and former finance and economy minister Kang Bong-kyun yesterday said the nation would likely record an economic growth rate of 4 percent this year.

During a breakfast speech held at the Lotte Hotel, Kang said, ``The nation's economic growth will be curbed to 3 percent level in the first half due to various negative factors and it will begin to climb to enter the 4 percent territory in the latter half.''

Kang also warned against the possibility that the economy would slip further in the event that the U.S. economy drastically contracts and the global financial market strains further.

Kang's statement drew attention in that it was the first time for a state funded research head to officially voice the likelihood of the economic growth rate falling to the 4 percent range, though Finance and Economy Minister Jin Nyum previously indicated the possibility.

The Ministry of Finance and Economy (MOFE) has earlier said it would consider officially revising macro economic indicators after closely monitoring the domestic and global economic situation for the next few months. …