Falling energy consumption
The country’s annual energy consumption may drop this year for the first time since 2009 mainly due to decreasing industrial demand, according to a report from the Korea Energy Economics Institute, Sunday.
This could be a sign that Asia’s fourth-largest economy is heading into a recession, affected by the unfavorable external conditions caused by the trade war between the United States and China, as well as sluggish domestic sales.
The report showed, in the first seven months of the year, the nation’s overall energy consumption stood at 137.6 million tons of oil equivalent (TOEs), down 0.93 percent from the same period last year. If this consumption trend continues for the remainder of the year, the country will post its first negative growth in energy use since 2009. The annual energy consumption has fallen only two times in 1998 and 2009 when the nation suffered from financial crisis. The government has been using the current methods to compile the data since 1990.
A sense of urgency is needed in the Moon Jae-in government for dealing with the economic challenges. It is easy to blame external factors for the economic plight.