What is North Korea's GDP

Calculations from Seoul: North Korea's economy grew for the first time in three years

Seoul (dpa) - According to estimates from South Korea, the economy of the isolated North Korea grew slightly for the first time in three years in view of stronger construction activities and an increase in services.

The gross domestic product (GDP) of the neighboring country has increased by 0.4 percent, writes the central bank in a report published in Seoul on Friday. In 2017, GDP was estimated to have shrunk by 3.5 percent, and in 2018 by 4.2 percent.

The calculations of the GDP are considered to be uncertain, since almost no current data on economic performance are published from the socialist country. The central bank in South Korea mainly uses data from the secret service and research institutes that specialize in North Korea.

Construction activity in North Korea increased by 2.9 percent year-on-year in 2019, according to the bank. This is due to the development of tourist areas and the construction of power plants.

North Korea celebrated the completion of the modernization of the remote city of Samjiyon in the north of the country in December. The redevelopment of the city is also seen as part of ruler Kim Jong Un's development plans to build an independent economy. Because of its nuclear weapons program, North Korea is subject to international sanctions that hamper the country's economic development.

Last year, according to the information from Seoul, production in the fields of agriculture, forestry and fisheries also increased, while there were declines in mining and manufacturing. The volume of foreign trade increased by 14.1 percent to 3.24 billion US dollars (2.72 billion euros), with only 280 million dollars for exports and 2.97 billion dollars for imports.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200731-99-991805 / 2

Bank of Korea report

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