The North Korean economy shrank 3.5 percent in 2017, after growing 3.9 percent in 2016, according to estimates from the Bank of Korea. It was the steepest contraction since a 6.5 percent drop in 1997, after international sanctions hit exports of coal and other commodities and products from industries related with chemicals, nuclear & missile activities. External trade excluding trade between North and South Korea amounted to USD 5.55 billion, a decrease of 15 percent from 2016. Exports slumped 37.2 percent while imports increased 1.8 percent. By industry, output tumbled for mining (-11 percent), agriculture & fisheries (-1.3 percent), manufacturing (-6.9 percent), utilities (-2.9 percent) and construction (-4.4 percent) while the services sector increased a meager 0.5 percent, mainly due to government activities. GDP Annual Growth Rate in North Korea averaged -0.48 percent from 1990 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 6.10 percent in 1999 and a record low of -6.50 percent in 1997.
GDP Annual Growth Rate in North Korea is expected to be 1.20 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. In the long-term, the North Korea GDP Annual Growth Rate is projected to trend around 1.30 percent in 2020, according to our econometric models.