SEOUL, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- South Korea downgraded its economic forecast for 2007, but said growth will still exceed U.S. growth by nearly 1.5 percent, the government said.
The Korean economy was expected to expand 4.5 percent this year, down from an earlier forecast of 4.6 percent and 2006's estimated 5 percent growth, the Ministry of Finance and Economy said.
By contrast, U.S. economic growth is expected to be about 3.1 percent for 2007, the University of Michigan forecasts.
The expected slowdown in South Korean growth is attributed to the South Korean currency's rise against the U.S. dollar and the U.S. economy, both of which have reduced demand for South Korean exports, the Yonhap News Agency reports.
Corporate capital spending, seen as essential for boosting the economy and creating jobs, was projected to grow 6.5 percent this year, down from an estimated 7.5 percent last year, the finance ministry said.