SEOUL, March 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's economy is expected to grow 2.4 percent this year due to slowing exports and sluggish facility investment, a local think tank said Sunday.
The growth outlook by the Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI) is lower than the estimate of between 2.6 percent and 2.7 percent for this year, projected by the government.
The KERI's projection is also below the 2.6 percent on-year expansion estimate by the International Monetary Fund.
Among others, a combination of slowing growth in major markets and a continued slump in facility investment are the main concerns for Asia's fourth-largest economy, according to the institute under the Federation of Korean Industries, a major lobby.
The country's exports growth is expected to slow to 2.9 percent this year from last year's 3.9 percent rise due to a sharp dip in chip prices and the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, the country's two major trading partners.
South Korea's exports moved down 11.1 percent in February from a year earlier to reach US$39.56 billion, marking the third consecutive month that exports backtracked, which is a first since July 2016.
The institute said construction investment is likely to decrease 5 percent this year, and facility investment is also to fall 1 percent this year.
Private spending is forecast to grow 2.5 percent this year, slowing from last year's 2.8 percent rise.
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