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N. Korean economic growth slows in 2013

All Headlines 12:00 June 27, 2014

By Lee Minji

SEOUL, June 27 (Yonhap) -- The North Korean economy is estimated to have grown at a slower pace last year from the previous year as its languid construction sector weighed on the economy, the central bank here said Friday.

The Bank of Korea (BOK) estimated that the country's economy expanded 1.1 percent in 2013, slowing from a 1.3 percent on-year expansion in the previous year.

In 2012, the North Korean economy was estimated to have grown at the fastest pace in four years, after contracting 0.9 percent and 0.5 percent in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

A BOK official explained that while the North's construction sector shrank last year, its agricultural output improved on favorable weather conditions.

An expansion in production of coal and iron ore also lent support to growth, the official added.

Pyongyang's construction industry contracted 1 percent on-year, compared with a 1.6 percent decline in 2012, as an increase in the number of residential buildings failed to offset falling demand for road construction works.

Its agricultural and fishery industry, which accounts for 22.4 percent of its total output, expanded 1.9 percent last year, slowing from a 3.9 percent growth in 2012.

Growth in its mining and manufacturing industries, which account for 35.7 percent of overall output, gained traction to reach 1.5 percent, up from 1.3 percent a year earlier.

The data, meanwhile, showed that North Korea's nominal gross national income (GNI) came in at 33.8 trillion won (US$33.3 billion) last year, which is roughly 2.3 percent of South Korea's 2013 GNI of 1,441.1 trillion won.

Since 1991, the BOK has been releasing the economic growth estimate of the North based on data provided by Seoul's intelligence agency and other institutions specializing in North Korean studies.

The nominal statistics in the report are based on relevant figures in South Korea due to difficulties in procuring data.

mil@yna.co.kr
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