South Korea's top economic policymaker on Tuesday expressed his worries about the country's low-growth trend amid the lingering uncertainties over external conditions.
"Our economy maintained the unprecedented low growth trend, marking the zero-percent range growth for eight straight quarters under uncertain external conditions," Finance Minister Hyun Oh- seok said at a meeting with heads of research institutes.
Hyun cited quantitative easing, Abenomics and the possible exit by the U.S. from quantitative easing as external uncertainties.
Aggressive quantitative easing in major economies helped moderate the global economic recession and stabilize international financial markets, but it caused unintended negative side effects such as the fluctuating capital flow in and out of emerging economies.
The Abenomics, or the economic policy advocated by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, caused the Japanese yen's depreciation against the U.S. dollar as well as the South Korean won, worsening the price competitiveness of local exporters which are competing with Japanese rivals in overseas markets.
The finance minister cautioned that the recovery momentum of Asia's No. 4 economy remained weak despite the rebound in the first quarter, saying that the government will make all-out efforts in the second half to break the low-growth trend.
The ministry unveiled its supplementary budget plan worth 17.3 trillion won (15 billion U.S. dollars) in mid-April, while announcing the comprehensive policy package to boost the flagging property market. It also launched plans in the first half to spur job creation and enhance access of small growth companies to the funding market.