• ADB Maintains Growth Outlook For S. Korea As Virus Uncertainties Persist

A store-lined street in Seoul's popular Myeongdong shopping district remains unusually empty during midday on Sept. 15, 2020, amid a decline in business due to the coronavirus outbreak.
A store-lined street in Seoul's popular Myeongdong shopping district remains unusually empty during midday on Sept. 15, 2020, amid a decline in business due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Asian Development Bank says South Korea's economy is expected to retreat 1 percent this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but will grow 3.3 percent next year as the world economy recovers.

The ADB issued its latest regional growth projections Tuesday, maintaining its earlier forecast for the Korean economy, while cutting its growth outlook to a contraction of 0.7 percent.

The coronavirus battered Korean economy fell into a recession as its gross domestic product shrank 3.3 percent in the second quarter after a 1.3 percent on-quarter retreat three months earlier.

Citing a slump in exports, the ADB said the country's current account surplus will continue to narrow this year, with uncertainty about COVID-19 "the biggest risk to forecasts."

It also predicted Korea's inflation to remain muted ahead of a pickup in 2021.

"The developing Asian region is expected to see its first economic contraction this year since the 1960s," the ADB said, as the coronavirus continues to spread "and as ill effects linger from border restrictions, quarantines and stay-at-home orders."

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