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Coronavirus impact worse than 2008 financial crisis: vice finance minister

All News 08:57 July 24, 2020

SEJONG, July 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's vice finance minister warned Friday that the economic impact triggered by the coronavirus pandemic is worse than the 2008 global financial crisis.

Vice Finance Minister Kim Yong-beom said the nation's export slump is likely to be deeper and prolonged due to a resurgence of the virus across the world.

Hit by the impact of the global health crisis, South Korea's economy contracted 3.3 percent in the second quarter, marking the worst reading in more than 20 years.

Exports, the nation's biggest growth engine, plunged 16.6 percent in the second quarter, the sharpest contraction since 1963.

The level of the export slump is "deeper than the impact from the 2008 financial crisis," Kim told a meeting with senior ministry officials.

The file photo, taken May 1, 2020, shows stacks of import-export cargo at South Korea's largest seaport in Busan, 450 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

"In spite of a recovery in consumption, the pace of recovery in the service sector is insufficient," Kim said.

South Korea has pledged to spend 277 trillion won (US$231 billion), or 14.4 percent of its gross domestic product, to help cushion the economic fallout from the pandemic.

Kim said the government is drawing up measures to boost consumption and local tourism.

The government will soon issue 200 billion won in vouchers to stimulate consumption in the sectors of movies, farm goods, tourism, sports and arts, Kim said.


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