South Korean soldiers wearing protective gear sanitize a street in front of a hospital in Daegu on Monday. (Yonhap)
South Korea’s regional economies have noticeably shrunk in the first quarter due to the coronavirus pandemic, with epicenters of the outbreak hit worst, a Bank of Korea report showed Monday.
According to the nation’s central bank, “Regional economies of Daegu and both Gyeongsang provinces shrunk marginally in the first quarter of the year, while the Seoul metropolitan area and others also saw a contraction compared with the previous quarter.”
All provinces and areas saw their local manufacturing industries suffer and output has plunged. Daegu, the North and South Gyeongsang provinces and Gangwon Province saw the steepest declines due to a fall in overall demand and complications related to manufacturing, the BOK said.
It also delivered a bleak outlook for the regional manufacturing industries, saying that “the recovery of the manufacturing sector will be delayed due to Daegu and Gyeongsang provinces’ lackluster textile exports to China coupled with a slowdown in both domestic and global demand of steel.”
The nation’s services industry has also been disrupted due to nationwide quarantine measures advising people to stay inside their homes.
Sales of two major department stores in the Daegu area plunged 65 percent and 70 percent, respectively, around a week following the news of the first confirmed cases in the area in early February, a BOK official said.
The report was based on data compiled by BOK’s 15 regional headquarters across the nation.