South Korea economy shrank in 2020 for 1st time in 22 years

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s economy shrank for the first time in 22 years in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic destroyed service industry jobs and depressed consumer spending. Preliminary data released by the Bank of Korea showed the country’s gross domestic product last year contracted 1% from 2019. It was the first annual contraction since 1998, when South Korea was in the midst of a crippling financial crisis. The bank expects South Korea’s economy to manage a modest recovery this year driven by exports. But it would take a longer time for the job market to recover from the damage to services industries such as restaurants and transportation.