South Korea sees export growth halt
This is as shipments of cars and consumer electronics fell sharply
This is casting a shadow over prospects for this year amid escalating trade tension between China and the United States, data showed on Sunday.
Exports totaled $51.2 billion, down 0.1 percent from a year earlier, below a gain of 0.4 percent forecast in a Reuters survey and falling back after a 13.2 percent jump in May, government data showed.
Imports were up 10.7 percent from a year ago, underperforming the survey’s forecast for an 11.4 percent increase.
The export sector’s sudden loss of growth may herald tougher times after a stellar performance over the past year, as Asia’s fourth largest economy could become caught in the crossfire following the retaliatory imposition of tariffs by the U.S. and China, as well as the European Union.
“China-U.S. trade will be hit with a new set of tariffs starting July 6, and that’s clouding the outlook for Korean exports in the second half,” said Lee Sang-jae, chief economist at Eugene Investment & Securities Co. in Seoul.
The weaker export performance was also partly down to a statistical base effect from particularly strong export growth in June 2017, when South Korea won major shipbuilding contracts, Lee also said.
Of the nation’s 13 major export items, shipments of seven items including semiconductors, petrochemical products and computers gained, according to the nation’s trade ministry.Published: by Radio NewsHub