S. Korea may face worst economic slump in Q2: Vice finance minister

South Korean won banknotes. Photo: Shutterstock. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SEJONG, May 22, 2020, Yonhap. South Korea is likely to face the worst quarterly economic slump in the second quarter, Vice Finance Minister Kim Yong-beom said Friday, as the new coronavirus pandemic has crippled exports and consumption, Yonhap reported.

“Shocks are expected to be concentrated in the second quarter,” Kim said during a meeting with senior ministry officials.

Kim said the government will fully mobilize stimulus packages in the second quarter to minimize the economic fallout from the pandemic.

The ministry is set to unveil the third extra budget early next month as it will seek to encourage firms to boost investment and protect the job market.

South Korea has begun providing relief handouts to every household to ease the economic fallout from the pandemic. For a household with four or more people, 1 million won (US$815) is given. Three-person households receive 800,000 won while two-person households and single-person households receive 600,000 won and 400,000 won, respectively.

Kim said 84.3 percent of 21.71 million households in South Korea have received handouts.

Nearly all 2.86 million low-income households received cash handouts, Kim said.

South Korea has pledged relief packages worth some 240 trillion won to ease the economic fallout from the virus.

The nation’s economy shrank 1.4 percent on-quarter in the first quarter of this year, marking the sharpest quarterly contraction since the last three months of 2008.

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