[사설] Trade deficit for 6 consecutive months in 25 years, ‘blunt sense of crisis’ is a real crisis
The trade balance recorded a deficit of $ 3.77 billion in September, continuing the series of deficits for six consecutive months since April. It has been 25 years since the Asian financial crisis of 1997. The deficit accumulated in January-September alone exceeded $ 28.8 billion, breaking an annual record, and the deficit is expected to rise to as much as $ 48 billion by the end. of the year. It is an emergency comparable to the foreign exchange crisis and the financial crisis.
Exports increased by more than 20% at the beginning of the year, but in September they only increased by 2.8%. Semiconductor exports such as NAND flash DRAM, which account for a fifth of total exports, fell for the second consecutive month due to a sharp decline in global demand. Exports of key products such as petrochemicals and steel have also been slow, and exports to China, the largest market, have declined for the fourth consecutive month.
Income is booming. As the global supply shortage worsened, imports of energy such as oil, gas and coal in September reached $ 17.9 billion, an increase of 81% over the previous year. The intensity of the experience is very serious as it is superimposed on the depreciation of the won. Another problem is that there are no signs of improvement for the moment.
The trade deficit is very likely to expand into a current account deficit. This could lead to the supply of foreign currency liquidity. In September, foreign exchange reserves amounted to $ 436.4 billion, but this is not a phase to lighten. In 2008, just before the financial crisis, there was a precedent for a steep drop of $ 63.7 billion in eight months. It should not be forgotten that foreign investment funds in the stock market can also ebb at any time.
Above all, the “blunt sense of the crisis” is a real crisis. The government should not just say that “the probability of an economic crisis is very low”. Businesses, individuals and foreign investors need to implement reliable and predictable policies consistently, intensively and quickly. Politicians should also help revise the special semiconductor law and lower the corporate tax rate. If you don’t fasten your seat belt right now, situations may arise that you cannot even imagine. The crisis has already begun.
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