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Economic policy runs against economic cycle over 2 years of economic downturn

Economic policy runs against economic cycle over 2 years of economic downturn

Posted September. 21, 2019 07:28,   

Updated September. 21, 2019 07:28


The South Korean government made an official diagnosis that the Korean economy has gone downward since its peak in September 2017. Critics say that government policies have spurred an economic downturn by raising corporate taxes and the minimum hourly wage even since the economy started to slow down two years ago when the current administration was inaugurated.

The National Statistics Committee announced that September of 2017 was the latest peak of the Korean economy after it held a subcommittee meeting regarding economic affairs and statistics on Friday to analyze reference dates, on which the economy is past its peak. After the economy passed through a trough in March 2013, it went on an upward curve for the longest period of 54 months and reached its peak in September 2017, then being on the decline.

Based on Statistics Korea’s analysis, domestic demand began to rebound after the economy reached a trough in March 2013. Korea showed signs of recovery across the economy thanks to the growing global economy and expansion of trade transactions starting from the fourth quarter of 2013. After the Korean economy began to stagnate around September 2017, it showed a slow growth as external conditions worsened in 2018 such as the slowing global economy and the growing trade war between Washington and Beijing.

Worryingly, many are concerned that the current downturn will last longer than any other time in history given that the economic outlook is not favorable. The longest economic contraction was recorded from March 1996 to August 1998 for 29 months. In the event that the current economic recession continues until next February, it can be said that the Korean economy will record more than 30 months of economic downturn.

Ae-Jin Ju jaj@donga.com