(MENAFN) South Korea's Ministry of Strategy and Finance revised down its growth forecast for the country's 2013 economy from 4 percent to 3 percent, reported Xinhua News.
The ministry attributed the new estimate to external factors, mainly the US fiscal cliff and the euro region's financial crisis.
The ministry, which also downgraded 2012 growth outlook to 2.1 percent from 3.3 percent, said that in 2013 first half, South Korea's economy would expand at a modest pace, however, in the second half of the year, economy would get better, due to modest global recovery and lessening external uncertainties.
It added that exports, which make up nearly half of the country's economy, would notably contribute to next year's growth, as they will grow at an annual rate of 4.3 percent, recovering from an estimated decline of 1.3 percent in 2012.
On the other hand, imports will expand 4.6 percent from the estimated minus expansion of 1 percent for the current year, while the current account surplus would fall to USD30 billion in 2013 from USD42 billion in 2012.
Furthermore, private consumption would grow at an annual rate of 2.7 percent, compared with a projection of a gain of 1.8 percent.
In 2013, the South Korean unemployment rate is expected to drop to 3.2 percent from 3.3 percent in 2012.