South Korea's economic slowdown appears to be gradually easing on signs of a recovery in exports, the finance ministry said Friday, although volatility in global raw material prices is a threat.
"The economic slowdown has seen some relief due to the improving trend in exports, including semiconductors, along with the recovery in consumer sentiment and employment," the Ministry of Economy and Finance said in a report.
The country's exports fell for the 11th consecutive month in August due mainly to weak demand for semiconductors and petroleum products, but the country reported a trade surplus for the third straight month.
The ministry said the trend of easing inflation continues, although there is still volatility in the prices of raw materials.
Consumer prices, a key gauge of inflation, rose 3.4 percent last month from a year earlier, accelerating from the 2.3 percent increase in July. It was the highest on-year rise since the 3.7 percent growth tallied in April.
But core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 3.3 percent on-year in August, rising at the same margin as July.
The finance ministry said there is also growing hope for the recovery of the global IT industry, with the resumption of Chinese group tours to the country also set to further boost the South Korean economy.
The growing concerns over an economic slowdown in major countries and their monetary tightening moves, along with the fallout from the prolonged war between Russia and Ukraine, however, may hinder the recovery, it added. (Yonhap)