The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has a negative impact on the economy and efforts are being made to minimize it, said South Korean President Park Geun-hye on June 9.
Park said at a cabinet meeting that the MERS crisis should not act as a factor to contract the economy, calling for people to participate in economic activity without too much worries as the viral disease is controllable.
AdvertisementThe MERS infection cases surged to 95 on June 9 since the first case was reported on May 20.
People have refrained from outside activities for fear of the MERS contagion, and some tourists, especially from China, have canceled their travel plan to the country.
Exports, which account for about half of the economy, showed downward trend this year from a 0.9 percent fall in January to declines of 3.3 percent in February, 4.3 percent in March, 8.1 percent in April and 10.9 percent in May each.
Production in all industries fell for two straight months, and the headline inflation stayed at a zero-percent level for six straight months. Major discount chains and department stores have shown negative signs in sales since the MERS crisis broke out.
Park said that if these situations continue, economic conditions of ordinary people, including the self-employed, will be worrying to become harder, instructing officials to take "all proactive measures" to minimize the negative impact of MERS on the economy.