Export figures keep on spelling out good news for the South Korean economy. For a fourth month in a row, exports were up, albeit by only 9.5 percent in February, compared with double digit growth in December and January. Semiconductors and car sales, two hallmarks of the Korean economy, were responsible for pushing export growth, according to Reuters.
Previously, exports from South Korea had been going through a prolonged slump, showing major year-on-year declines even since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Then the global virus crisis hit in full force, causing export to crash once more and even harder.
Exports had hit a first rock bottom in October 2019 amid the U.S.-China trade war, when monthly exports declined by almost 15 percent. With the coronavirus outbreak doubling down on the already weak global trade, exports declined by almost 25 percent in April 2020.
While Korean exports are seen as an important indicator for the global economy, the export slump also meant losses for the country’s companies and tax income. South Korean GDP growth suffered as a result previously to the crisis, but since Korea handled the pandemic better than most, national accounts are currently doing well in an international comparison despite remaining in the red for now.