South Korean Economic Index Declines

By John S. McClenahen The index of leading economic indicators for South Korea fell 0.2% in March, but despite continued month-to-month volatility, particularly in building permits and inventories, the index is still increasing at about a 6% annual rate, says the Conference Board, a New York-based business research group. The leading index now stands at 122.6 (1990=100). Inflation-adjusted GDP growth in South Korea rose to an annual rate of 9% during the second half of last year. And "the continued widespread growth in the leading index so far this year, despite the monthly volatility, is signaling a continuation of strong economic growth through the first half of 2004," says the Conference Board.

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