Korea becomes more trade-dependent in 2018: BOK

SEOUL, South Korea’s economy continued to become more trade-dependent in 2018, with imports accounting for more than 14 percent of overall supplies here, a central bank report showed Wednesday.
The country’s overall industrial output amounted to 5,074.2 trillion won (US$4.21 trillion) in the year, compared with 4,861.0 trillion won the year before, according to the report from the Bank of Korea (BOK).
Domestic output accounted for 85.5 percent of the total, while imports accounted for the remaining 14.5 percent, up from 14.2 percent in 2017 and 13.4 percent in 2016.
The country also became more import-dependent for its own exports.
The ratio of domestic commodities to intermediate inputs, or the localization rate, dipped to 77.7 percent in 2018 from 78.3 percent the year before.
Imports accounted for 12.7 percent of overall intermediate inputs in 2018, up from 12.2 percent the previous year.
“This was due mainly to rises in the import prices of raw materials, including oil and natural gas,” the BOK said.
Exports accounted for 15.7 percent of total demand, up from 15.6 percent in 2017.
Meanwhile, the service industry also continued to expand its share in total output and value added, accounting for 46.2 percent of total output and 60.2 percent of value added in 2018, up from 45.6 percent and 59.3 percent, respectively, in 2017.
Manufactured goods accounted for 43.1 percent of total output and 29.5 percent of value added, compared with 43.4 percent and 29.9 percent, respectively, in 2017, according to the BOK.
Both the manufacturing and service sectors, however, continued to need less workers in 2018.
The workers coefficient of manufactured goods came to 4.7 in 2018, down from 4.9 the year before, while that of services dipped to 9.4 from 9.9 over the cited period.
The workers coefficient refers to the number of workers per billion won in output.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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