Exports from South Korea have been going through a prolonged slump, showing double digit year-on-year declines in late 2019 before slightly recovering in early 2020. While Korean exports are seen as an important indicator for the global economy, this of course also means losses for the country’s companies and tax income. South Korea’s GDP growth has been slowing recently and reached only 0.4 percent (quarter-on-quarter) in Q3 and 0.8 percent in Q4 of 2019 – a trend that is mirrored in many industrialized nations around the world.
The South Korean government meanwhile said that exports had hit rock-bottom in October amidst the U.S.-China trade war and that they saw some recovery in the future. Despite the positive sentiments, the overall weakness of exports suggests that the global slowdown currently underway is likely to continue.
According to Bloomberg, it is the role Korean companies play in the supplying of semiconductors, smartphones and other tech items to the world that makes the country’s exports an indicator for the wellbeing of the global economy.