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Decisive action needed to boost spending as economy faces further slump: Moon

All News 11:17 April 28, 2020

SEOUL, April 28 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday called for swift and decisive policy action to revitalize the economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic, as Asia's fourth-largest economy is planning on a multi-trillion-won extra budget to boost domestic demand.

"We need to become a swift government first and foremost. The damage will become bigger and difficulties of the people and businesses will become more severe if executions of measures are delayed," Moon said at a Cabinet meeting at the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul.

Moon warned that the economy is expected to face further negative momentum in the second quarter, highlighting the state of unprecedented economic turbulence in recent years.

South Korea's economy contracted 1.4 percent on-quarter in the first quarter of this year, marking the sharpest quarterly contraction since the fourth quarter of 2008.

"Second quarter economic growth is expected to face much more negative flow compared with the first quarter, during which (the nation) recorded negative growth," Moon said.

"The state of the real economy and impact on employment for the time being is increasingly worrisome," the president added.

The Moon administration announced at the end of March that it would grant the direct financial support of up to 1 million won (US$814) to all families here except the top 30 percent by income. The government later decided to expand beneficiaries to all nationals.

"The government should speed up its time table to boost spending. Purchase coupon programs should be carried out in earnest and measures to boost spending momentum, including those that the government has decided, such as early payment and early purchase programs, should also be considered," Moon said.

The National Assembly plans to hold a plenary session Wednesday to handle the proposed extra budget.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (R) presides over a Cabinet meeting on April 28, 2020, at the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul. (Yonhap)


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