Trade forecast to slow down this year: report
Korea's export and import growth are expected to slow down this year in the midst of global economic uncertainties triggered by Europe's debt crisis, a report showed Thursday.
According to the report compiled by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), Korea's 2012 outbound shipments are forecast to reach $568.5 billion, a 2.4 percent rise from the previous year's $555.2 billion.
The country's imports are projected to grow 4.1 percent on-year to $545.7 billion in 2012 from $524.4 billion a year ago, the report said.
Last year, Asia's fourth-largest economy saw a 19 percent growth in exports and a 23.3 percent jump in imports.
In the second half, the country's exports may hit $293.8 billion, up 4.3 percent from a year earlier, while its imports could move up 4.9 percent on-year to $279.3 billion, the report predicted.
The KITA report showed that Korea is expected to post a trade surplus of $22.8 billion this year, compared with a favorable balance of $30.8 billion in 2011.
Shipments of mobile devices are forecast to slump 23.2 percent on-year in 2012, while shipbuilders will face a 19.8 percent fall in exports this year, the report said.
KITA said that a global economic downturn coupled with Europe's fiscal crisis and China's slow growth policy are causing the slowdown in Korea's trade volume.
"Global trade is forecast to be stagnant this year on worsening European debt woes," KITA said in the report. "Korean businesses are recommended to deal with fluctuating oil prices and currency." (Yonhap)