S. Korea's economic growth remains 'weak': KDI

SEJONG, Aug. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's economic growth remains "weak" despite a steady rebound from the impact of the deadly ferry accident in April that dampened private-sector consumption, a state-run think tank said Wednesday.

"The Korean economy is on the rebound from the impact of the Sewol ferry tragedy, but the economy's overall pace of growth is still considered weak," the Korea Development Institute said in a monthly report on the latest economic trends.

The 6,825-ton ferry sank off the country's southwest coast on April 16, leaving more than 300 people dead. Many of the victims were high school students on a field trip. Consumption remained in a slump as people refrained from spending on tourism and other leisure activities while the nation was in mourning.

The KDI said that exports keep improving, but domestic demand is not picking up enough from the impact of the ferry disaster. It also cited "sluggishness" in retail sales and equipment investment by companies.

"Exports have maintained an improving trend, but a delayed recovery in domestic demand-related indicators, such as private consumption, suggests that the Korean economy is growing at a subdued rate," the think tank said.

"Amid sluggishness in retail sales, equipment investment growth slowed down... pointing to stagnation in the recovery of domestic demand."

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