By Lee Yoonseo and Kim Young Shin
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) predicts that Korea's GDP growth in 2018 will be 3.0 percent, and that the average GDP growth rate for its basket of 45 developing Asian economies will be 6.0 percent, it said in its "Asian Development Outlook 2018" released on April 11.
According to the report, thanks to growth in world trade after 2017, robust consumer demand, and India’s rebound, the average GDP of Asian countries will see steady growth of 6.0 percent in 2018 and 5.9 percent in 2019. The ADB also pointed out the risks facing Asian economies, such as the possibility of tension over trade, a faster rise in interest rates by the U.S. Federal Reserve, and rising household and nonfinancial corporate debt.
By subregion, the ADB predicted economic growth in Central Asia to be 4 percent in 2018, in East Asia to be 6 percent and in Southeast Asia to be 5.2 percent.
Korea is expected to have had a steady growth rate of 3.1 percent in 2017, and then see 3.0 percent growth in 2018 and 2.9 percent in 2019. These are thanks to the economic recovery of its main economic blocs, improved consumer confidence, and expanded consumption due to the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The report also said that the recent improvements in diplomatic relations between Korea and China would also have a positive influence on Korea’s exports.
The ADB advised that, although Korea keeps a low and stable inflation rate, it should draft laws that would help the growth of small- and medium-sized corporations, and reform its labor market, in order to ensure continued economic growth and increased employment among young people.