January 15, 2009

Official: S. Korea forecast optimistic

South Korea's economy may fall short of the central bank's prediction of 2 percent growth for 2009, Vice Finance Minister Bae Kook-hwan said.

Growth could fall short of predictions made by the central bank and other research institutions including the International Monetary Fund, he said at a business meeting Thursday, Yonhap News Agency reported.

Both the IMF and the Bank of Korea have predicted South Korea's economy would grow 2 percent in 2009. Last year, the economy grew 3.6 percent.

If government stimulus strategies work, the economy could expand further, he said.

Currently, the slowdown in Korea is attributed to slower domestic spending and a decline in demand for South Korean exports.