A majority of economic experts in South Korea forecast that the economic growth rate for this year will be lower than what the government and the central bank predict, seeing the current situation as a "crisis," a survey showed Sunday.
According to the survey of 34 experts from private and state-run think tanks, financial companies and academia conducted by the Federation of Korean Industries, 82.4 percent said that the growth rate for this year will stay below 3.4 percent, below the Bank of Korea's projection.
The outlook is also lower than the government's 3.8 percent and the state-run Korea Development Institute's 3.5 percent growth estimates, according to South Korea's (Yonhap) News Agency.
Some painted even a bleaker picture, with 14.7 percent expecting that the growth rate will be between 2.5 and 2.9 percent.
Of those surveyed, 82.8 percent said that the current economic situation is in a crisis, mostly citing as reasons the steadily-narrowing technological gaps with China and a lack of new growth engines that can drive the country's economy forward.
Deepening economic uncertainty and deteriorating business earnings, which lead to stagnant corporate investment, are also downward factors, the survey showed.
To lend stimulus to the economy in the short term, 41.2 percent said that tourism and service-sector boosting bills pending in the National Assembly should be passed immediately, while 26.5 percent said that "aggressive" support for corporate investment and research and development is needed. Another 8.8 percent called for government-led fiscal spending on infrastructure.