In the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Korean economy, which lagged by 0.9% in 2020, rebounded by 4.0% last year.

The Bank of Korea (BOK) announced today (25th) that the real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate for the fourth quarter of 2021 (compared to the previous quarter, earlier) was counted at 1.1%.

The quarterly growth rate recorded negative (-) in the first quarter (-1.3%) and the second quarter (-3.2%) of 2020 along with the outbreak of COVID-19, followed by the third quarter (2.2%), the fourth quarter (1.1%), and the first quarter of 2021 The growth rate was maintained for six consecutive quarters: Q4 (1.7%), Q2 (0.8%), Q3 (0.3%), and Q4 (1.1%).

As a result, the annual GDP growth rate last year was calculated to be 4.0%.

It is the same as the BOK's forecast, and it is the highest level in 11 years since 6.8% in 2010.

Looking at the growth rate in the fourth quarter by sector, private consumption, which decreased (-0.2%) in the third quarter due to the fourth epidemic of COVID-19 and a supply bottleneck, turned to an increasing trend (1.7%) again.

As both building construction and civil engineering construction increased, construction investment also increased by 2.9%.

However, facility investment fell by 0.6% centered on machinery, continuing the decline for two consecutive quarters following the third quarter (-2.4%).

Exports increased by 4.3%, led by semiconductors, coal, and petroleum products, and imports increased by 4.3%, respectively, mainly from crude oil and chemical products.

Government consumption also increased by 1.1% due to the influence of goods and health insurance payment expenses.

The contribution of private consumption to economic growth was 0.8 percentage points (p), while facility investment was counted at -0.1 percentage points.

It means that private consumption raised the growth rate by 0.8 percentage points, but facility investment stagnated by 0.1 percentage points.

Construction investment (0.4 percentage points), net exports (0.2 percentage points), and government consumption (0.2 percentage points) also increased the growth rate.

The growth rate by industry was calculated as ▲ construction industry 2.2% ▲ agriculture, forestry and fishery industry 1.3% ▲ service industry 1.3% ▲ manufacturing industry 1.1%.

The electricity, gas and water industry contracted 0.8%.

In the fourth quarter of last year, real gross domestic income (GDI) fell 0.5% as terms of trade deteriorated, despite real GDP growth (1.1%).

Last year's annual real GDI growth rate (3.0%) also fell below the real GDP growth rate (4.0%) due to deterioration in terms of trade caused by rising oil prices.

(Photo = Yonhap News)