Trade deficit in the first half of this year, largest ever
Gas station oil prices soar… Increase in electricity and gas rates
Imports increase and prices continue to rise
In the first half of this year, we reported that it recorded the largest trade deficit in history.
The crisis that started with the surge in raw material prices abroad has led to the so-called ‘third high’ of high inflation, high interest rates, and high exchange rates, making the economic situation even more difficult.
Correspondent Kwon Nam-gi.
The largest trade deficit in the first half of the year was $10.3 billion, worth 13 trillion won.
[문동민 / 산업통상자원부 무역투자실장 : 원유 등 에너지원 수입이 지난해 대비 50억 달러 이상 증가한 것이….]
Soaring gas prices at gas stations that go back and forth at 2,100 won per liter, or raising electricity rates,
[김윤주 / 경기 고양시 행신동 : 엄청나게 많이 크죠. 저희가 (느끼기엔). 기름값 부담이 요즘 너무 커요, 사실.]
After all, this is largely due to the surge in the price of energy such as oil, coal, and natural gas or the price of atomic ash.
Imports of the three major energy sources in the first half of the year surged 87.5%, nearly doubling from a year ago.
As import prices soared, consumer prices also rose, and a 6% increase rate was soon to appear.
Amid unfavorable factors outside the country, such as the Russia-Ukraine war, the won/dollar exchange rate jumped the most in 10 years last month.
[방기선 / 기획재정부 1차관 : 6월에는 소비자물가 상승률이 더욱 높아질 전망이며 앞으로도 상당 기간 인플레이션 압력이 지속할 것으로….]
Interest rates also rise to keep up with the rising inflation, but there are also observations that the ‘big step’ of raising 0.5 percentage points at a time is gradually becoming a reality.
As both inflation and interest rates soar, there is a bleak prospect that even consumption, which is considered the driving force behind Korea’s economic growth in the second half of the year, may fall short of expectations.
[주 원 / 현대경제연구원 경제연구실장 : 바깥에서 들어오는 무역수지 적자 쪽의 불안, 그리고 안쪽에서 인플레이션으로 인한 내수 경기침체, 이 두 가지가 겹칠 가능성이 매우 커 보이죠. 금리를 빠르게 올려서 채무상환 부담이 커지면 소비 회복을 기대하는 건 무리가….]
Meanwhile, exports, the backbone of the Korean economy, are showing signs of slowing, recording single-digit growth for the first time in 16 months.
This is the reason why the diagnosis is mixed with concerns that the complex crisis is gradually becoming a reality.
This is YTN Namgi Kwon.
YTN Namgi Kwon ([email protected])
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