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Korea's strong output, current account surplus brightens this year's outlook Updated: 2014-01-29 22:06:22 KST

  Korea's strong output, current account surplus brightens this year's outlook
Despite concerns about emerging markets and the possible fallout from the U.S. Federal Reserve's expected decision on another cut in its stimulus, Korean policymakers say the fundamentals of the Korean economy appear strong enough to weather the impact.
Statistics Korea data showed Wednesday that the nation's industrial output, which includes production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries, grew 3.4 percent in December from a month earlier.
That is the fastest pace in over four years.
In a separate report, the Bank of Korea said that the nation's current account surplus reached a record 70.7 billion dollars last year, up nearly 50 percent from the previous record of 48 billion posted in 2012.
For December, Korea marked a surplus for the 23rd straight month, with the amount standing at nearly 6-and-a-half billion dollars.
The central bank attributed the record surplus to strong exports coupled with stable global commodities prices that kept import prices under control.
Economists expect the domestic economy to keep up with its pace of recovery this year as domestic demand is also forecast to pick up.

"This year, the global economy is projected to gain more momentum compared to last year, so Korea's exports will fare well. Facilities investment and consumption will also improve."

"With this optimism, Korea's Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok said market instability in emerging economies would have a limited impact on the Korean economy, but he cautioned against complacency given the rapidly changing overseas conditions."
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News."


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