President Moon Jae-in
Photo credit: JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images

South Korea’s economy expanded at its slowest pace for a decade in 2019.

The world’s 12th largest economy grew 2.0 percent in 2019, down from 2.7 percent the previous year and the worst performance since 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Slowing growth presents a challenge for the South which enjoyed a decades-long boom known as the “Miracle on the Han” but where a highly educated youth now struggles to find well-paid jobs.

President Moon Jae-in has been criticised for a controversial economic policy featuring public spending increases and the concept of “income-led growth”, which has seen the minimum wage rise more than 30 percent in three years.  Many are of the opinion that it hurts those it is intended to help by raising employment costs.

Moon’s administration is set to raise public spending 9.1 percent this year and spend 30 percent of its infrastructure budget in the first quarter, ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for April 2020.