ECONOMIC DATA ABROAD

ECONOMIC DATA ABROAD

KOREAN ECONOMY GREW

7.1 PERCENT IN FIRST QUARTERSEOUL, South Korea - South Korea's national economy grew at an annual rate of 7.1 percent in real terms during the first quarter of the year, marking a recovery from 1989, the central Bank of Korea reported Monday.

The country's economic growth was 6.7 percent last year, and 6.2 percent in the first quarter of 1989.

But the report said the balance of payments during January-March registered a deficit of $1.1 billion, largely because of sluggish exports and a sharp increase in imports.

The report forecast the balance of payments surplus to be about $1.2 billion in 1990, far below the government's target of $2 billion.

The report also forecast that commodity exports are expected to amount to $65.5 billionin 1990 (up 5 percent over last year), but also short of the $66 billion government target. Imports are expected to be $68.5 billion, the report said.

ASIAN GROWTH SLOWED

SHARPLY LAST YEAR

MANILA, Philippines - The rapid expansion of Asia's economies slowed sharply last year, but the region remained the world's most dynamic area for economic growth, the Asian Development Bank said in its annual report.

The report, released Monday, said the slowdown had helped put the economies of South Korea and Taiwan in particular onto a path of long-term growth.

But regional inflation continued to climb and unrest and political disputes hurt China and several South Asian countries.

Overall growth in real gross domestic product of developing countries in Asia and the Pacific fell to 5.3 percent in 1989, down from a record 9.4 percent the previous year, the Manila-based regional bank said.

The fall was partly because governments had clamped down on growth to stop their economies overheating and check increasing demands on infrastructure, rising inflation and labor difficulties in some countries, it said.

INFLATION RATE REMAINS

UNCHANGED IN S. AFRICA

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - South Africa's annual inflation rate remained unchanged in March at 14.9 percent, the Central Statistical Service reported Monday.

The consumer price index, 60 percent of which represents consumer goods, showed a higher inflation rate of 15.9 percent in lower income groups, the report said. The overall March increase was 1.6 percent.

High increases were recorded during the month for seafood, dairy products and alcoholic beverages, which rose 10.5 percent; and furniture and equipment. Education costs, including an annual review of university tuition fees, were up 18.6 percent.