South Korea has sharply narrowed its economic gap with the United States last year from 30 years ago, due mainly to the 2008 financial crisis that hampered U.S. economy, data showed Tuesday, while its economic difference with China has become wider.
According to the data compiled by the Bank of Korea, South Korea’s gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of economic performance, came to US$1.29 trillion in 2012, while the U.S. held a 14-fold higher $16.24 trillion.
The gap marked a sharp drop from a 43-fold disparity tallied in 1982, when South Korean and the U.S. held figures of $77.5 billion and $3.3 trillion, respectively, Yonhap news agency reported..
Market watchers said the narrowed gap is attributable to the 2008 financial crisis, when the collapse of U.S. investment giant Lehman Brothers dealt a harsh blow to its economy while its economic growth also continued to hover below 4 percent since 2000.
The Asia’s fourth-largest economy, on the other hand, widened its gap with that of China over the previous years, with China’s GDP reaching $8.2 trillion last year, 7.3 times higher than that of South Korea.
It marked a sharp increase from a two-fold disparity tallied in 2000, when South Korea and China held GDPs of $5.3 trillion and $11.9 trillion, respectively.
China was also South Korea’s biggest trading partner last year, accounting for 24.5 percent of the export-reliant country’s overseas shipment, trailed by the U.S. with 10.7 percent.