North Korea Ends Seven-Year Growth Streak

Manufacturing expanded 0.4%.

Due partly to floods and the international standoff over its nuclear program, North Korea's economy shrank an estimated 1.1% last year, South Korea's central bank said Aug. 16. The contraction in GDP followed seven years of expansion since a 6.2% rise in 1999, the Bank of Korea said.

Manufacturing expanded 0.4% year-on-year in 2006, compared to a 4.9% gain in 2005.

"Growth of external trade has also suffered a blow from the stand-off over its nuclear program," central bank analyst Shin Chang-Sik said.

The construction industry contracted 11.5% last year after growing 6.1% in 2005. Mining grew 1.9% last year after a 3.5% gain.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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