The Korean economy performed the worst among 22 developed economies of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in the first quarter as it bore the hardest blow from the trade conflict between the United States and China.
The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in January-March this year declined 0.34 percent compared to the previous three-month period, poorest reading among 22 OECD member states that have released first-quarter data, according to the OECD on Sunday.
The other economies that receded in the first quarter were Latvia (-0.30 percent), Mexico (-0.20 percent), and Norway (-0.07 percent).
The OECD has total 36 members but only 22 countries have so far announced their first-quarter GDP data. Those yet to disclose their stat include Canada, Japan, and New Zealand.
Among the 22 states, Hungary’s economy grew at the fastest pace of 1.50 percent in the first quarter against the previous quarter. Poland came in second with 1.40 percent, followed by Israel with 1.28 percent and its neighboring post-soviet bloc countries in transform to a market economy – Lithuania (0.99 percent) and Slovakia (0.93 percent).
The U.S. came next by gaining 0.78 percent on quarter, Spain 0.72 percent, and Finland 0.60 percent. Portugal also saw its economy add 0.50 percent and Germany 0.42 percent.
Korea’s GDP, which relies heavily on external trade, suffered from a slowdown in the global economy and widening trade frictions between its two biggest export markets.
According to the Korea Customs Service data, the country’s outbound shipments in the first 10 days in May shank 6.4 percent to $13 billion from the same period a year earlier, suggesting the country’s exports could fall for the six straight month.
Korea’s GDP grew 1.8 percent on year in the first quarter, the slowest in a decade and far below the government’s 2.6-2.7 percent target for full 2019 and the central bank’s estimate of 2.5 percent.
By Yoon Jin-ho and Cho Jeehyun
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