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Country Economic Forecasts > North Korea

  • March 2017
  • -
  • Oxford Economics
  • -
  • 5 pages


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GDP growth is estimated at 1.5% in 2016 despite the
knock-on effects of the drought that is now thought to have resulted in a 1.1% contraction
in 2015. Deepening ties with China, raising export revenues and promoting
import substitution, have largely offset the closure of joint industrial
operations with South Korea. While China has not expanded the border industrial
zones, its imports of coal and minerals in return for supplying cheap food has given
Pyongyang a trade surplus sufficient to keep investing in the state enterprises
that generate 75% of GDP and ensure slowly-rising incomes despite very high
military/security spending. But Beijing's recent decision to suspend coal
imports until end-year highlights mounting political tensions between the two

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