Fall­ing en­ergy con­sump­tion

The Korea Times - - OPINION -

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.

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