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S. Korean Exports to Rebound Later This Year
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South Korea's exports will likely pick up sharply in the second half of this year on the recovery of advanced economies and increased shipments of information technology (IT) products, a report showed Wednesday.

Overseas shipments of Asia's fourth-largest economy are expected to grow 10 percent in the July-December period, recovering from their current slump, according to the report by Hyundai Research Institute.

The export-reliant country has been suffering a sharp downturn in its outbound shipments, experiencing a 7.3 percent loss in January and a 1.4 percent decline in March.

The report attributed its upbeat outlook for the latter half to signs of improvements in the United States and other advanced economies, as well as an expected rise in exports of South Korea's key export items.

The International Monetary Fund recently raised the growth projection of the world economy for this year to 3.5 percent, up 0.2 percent from its January estimate.

The organization expected the U.S. economy to expand 2.1 percent this year, up from an earlier estimate of 1.8 percent, while upgrading the growth forecast for Japan to 2 percent from 1.6 percent.

Last year, exports of IT products reached an all-time high for the second consecutive year. Exports of ships and automobiles to emerging markets jumped 22-35 percent, with shipments of cars and petrochemicals products soaring 35-55 percent.

The report also said South Korean exports will be buoyed by free trade pacts with the U.S. and the European Union. South Korea's free trade agreement (FTA) with the U.S. came into force in mid-March, while its FTA with the European Union took effect in July last year.

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Source: Yonhap News (Apr. 25, 2012)

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