N.Korea 2015 GDP notches sharpest fall in 8 years as exports hobble development- S.Korea

A freight ship is filled with coal throughout the opening ceremony of a new dock at the North Korean port of Rajin July 18, 2014.

Reuters/Yuri Maltsev/File Image

North Korea’s economy contracted in 2015 at the sharpest rate in 8 years, a price quote from the Bank of Korea showed on Friday, as low global commodity prices landed a blow to exports, an essential motorist for the impoverished nation’s economy. The gross domestic product in North Korea in 2014 fell a real 1.1 percent, South Korea’s reserve bank stated, which was the very first fall given that 2010 and compares with a 1.0 percent gain in 2014. It likewise marked the fastest decrease because a 1.2 percent drop in 2007. Isolated North Korea does not release economic data. All sectors other than construction and services decreased, a most likely concern for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un currently under pressure from global sanctions against several justifications consisting of a nuclear test in January. “The crucial factor for the GDP contraction seems trade as global product costs fell while China need likewise declined,” said a Bank of Korea authorities, who declined to be called as he was unauthorized to speak to media. “North Korea’s main commodity exports are coal and iron ore, which likely all decreased last year.”

Neighboring China is North Korea’s chief trading partner. The Bank of Korea information showed exports in North Korea fell 14.8 percent last year in yearly terms as mineral item shipments slumped 14.7 percent. This was far worse than a 1.7 percent decline seen in 2014.

Imports dropped a much faster 20.0 percent in 2014, compared with a 7.8 percent boost in 2014. The central bank authorities said trade is anticipated to intensify this year as it ends up being challenging for North Korea to boost deliveries with other countries with international sanctions likely to grow heavier following Pyongyang’s ongoing rocket launches and nuclear risks. Construction rose 4.8 percent in 2014, accelerating from a 1.4 percent gain in 2014, the very same information showed.

At the same time, a 0.8 percent gain in services last year shows North Korea’s economic shift towards industrialism as the black market there has become more prevalent. Financial services have actually also grown, which likely added to the gain, the BOK official added. The Bank of Korea has released GDP data on North Korea every year since 1991 based upon information received from related sources, including the Ministry of Marriage. (Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Sam Holmes).

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