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Signs of a slowdown in South Korea.

Private consumption in South Korea in February 2006 performed anemically, growing a mere 1.1 percent when compared with private consumption in February 2005. Compared with January 2006, the private consumption year-on-year statistic looked even worse since the January 2006 numbers posted an 8.9 percent gain. Nonetheless, an Agence-France Presse (AFP) March 30, 2006 wire service story cited South Korea's National Statistics Office (NSO) as saying that the economy was still on an upward trend.

Even if the NSO is correct many will look at the upward trend as slowing significantly.

South Korea is the world's 11th largest economy, and what happens there has implications for the world economy as a whole.

In terms of the world economy, commentary is beginning to surface that it may be headed for a slowdown.

In South Korea, in addition to private consumption, there were several other indications of slowdown. Industrial output is down, says the AFP, exports are termed "sluggish" and the country's "current account is in the red."

Also, South Korea's economic indicators are down. The index of leading economic indicators, which measures future economic performance, was down 0.3 points in February 2006. The indicator that measures current economic trends, South Korea's coincident index, showed a 0.6 point gain in January 2006, but also fell 0.3 points in February 2006.

High oil prices, appreciation of the South Korean won, and a sluggish stock market are also weighing on economic aspirations.
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Title Annotation:economic outlook
Publication:Market Asia Pacific
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9SOUT
Date:Apr 1, 2006
Words:242
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