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Foreign IBs raise S. Korea's 2021 growth outlook

According to Yonhap News,

SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- Several foreign investment banks (IBs) have revised up their forecasts for South Korea's 2021 economic growth following the economy's relatively good performance last year, a report showed Wednesday.

Out of six foreign IBs and one research institute that published reports on Asia's fourth-largest economy Tuesday, three upgraded their growth outlooks by 0.1 to 0.3 percentage point, according to the report by the Korea Center for International Finance.

These institutions predict the South Korean economy to expand between 2.7 percent and 5 percent in 2021 from a year earlier, the report said.

At the end of December, nine major global IBs, including Barclays and Goldman Sachs, forecast the South Korean economy to grow 3.4 percent this year, up 0.1 percentage point from their median outlook offered a month earlier.

The center said the latest outlook reflects Tuesday's announcement of South Korea's 2020 economic growth by the Bank of Korea (BOK), the country's central bank.

The BOK said the country's gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 1 percent in 2020 from a year earlier despite the coronavirus pandemic, outperforming other major economies.

It was the worst on-year growth since 1998, when the nation's economy contracted 5.1 percent in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis.

However, the figure is slightly better than the BOK's projection of a 1.1 percent contraction for last year.

In particular, the nation's economy grew 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, marking an expansion for the second straight quarter and faring better than expected.

According to the center, 18 major foreign and domestic institutions had forecast the South Korean economy to expand 0.7 percent on-year in the October-December period.

The BOK projects the South Korean economy to grow 3 percent this year, higher than its previous forecast of a 2.8 percent expansion.

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Source: Yonhap News (Jan 27, 2021)

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