It's still a loss but others are faring much worse: Developed countries in Asia are expected to suffer smaller GDP contractions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. South Korea is expected to see its GDP contract by 1.2 percent in 2020, according to the April outlook by the IMF. The country's ability to keep its economy open mostly during the outbreak will translate to a result that could be better than many.
South Korea announced that its GDP had contracted by 1.4 percent in the first quarter of 2020 last week, so if the economy was able to pick up some slack during the remainder of the year, it might even be able to beat the IMF prediction. Yet, because of the global turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic, supply chains and consumer sentiment have taken a serious hit globally.
The country is in fact no stranger to negative growth figures, which it last saw in Q1 of 2019, when GDP was down 0.4 percent. Yet, last quarter's contraction was the worst Korea had seen since the financial crisis in 2008.