North Korea’s Economy Posts 4th Year of Steady Growth

North Korea’s economy expanded by 1 percent last year, lower than the 1.1 growth posted in 2013, South Korea’s central bank, the Bank of Korea (BOK) has reported.

Data released by the BOK showed that the North’s economy continued to post growth in 2014, its fourth year of expansion, but at a relatively low level.

In an annual report, the BOK said the slightly faster expansion last year was marked by growth in services and signs of rising private consumption.

The statistics do not include black market economic activity that has grown steadily in recent years, creating a consuming class with demand for products such as cosmetics, smartphones, fruit juices and foreign clothes, according to residents and visitors.

North Korea’s economy could suffer this year due to a drought that has been considered by the North Koreans as the worst to hit the country in 100 years. –