South Korea's economy is expected to grow 3.6 percent in 2012, slowing from this year's estimated 4 percent expansion, as exports lose steam in the wake of the global economic downturn, a local think tank said Wednesday.
The Samsung Economic Research Institute (SERI) said major economies such as the U.S. and China are expected to see a drop in their growth rates, which will lead to a decline in exports by Asia's fourth-largest economy.
Domestic demand is expected to grow 2.7 percent next year, also slowing from this year's estimated 2.8 percent rise, as government spending is likely to decrease and credit easing is unlikely to continue into next year, it said.
Inflation will slow to 3.4 percent in 2012 from this year's predicted 4.4 percent, as prices of oil and crops are expected to decline, it added.
Earlier, the country's finance minister said the government may consider lowering its forecast of the economy's growth rate for next year due to persistent downside risks. The finance ministry had predicted that the economy would likely grow 4.8 percent in 2012. The ministry projected a 4.5 percent growth rate for this year