The South Korean economy has experienced sluggish growth due to a combination of rising interest rates and low exports, according to a poll by Reuters economists.

Of the three economists who were polled, two predicted there would be an economic flatline, and all three expected to see an outright contraction. The predictions suggest that a recession is looming for South Korea.

A median forecast from 22 economists polled from Oct. 20-24 showed a slight decrease from the second quarter. Economists expected to see the GDP fall from 2.9% to 2.8%. Another Reuters poll predicts that the average for this year will be 2.6% and 1.9% for the coming year.

The data will be made available on Thursday.

South Korea's economy depends on exports, especially with its largest trade partner, China. The Chinese economy has also experienced a slowdown and has delayed the release of its GDP data. With that knowledge in mind, experts expect to see South Korea's economy slow down even further.

Societe General economist Oh Suktae noted that the "GDP growth is likely to have been slower in 3Q22 compared with 2Q22, mainly due to the slowdown in consumption. The weakness in exports and manufacturing production is likely to have continued amid the deterioration in the global economic outlook."

Another factor in the sluggish growth is the Bank of Korea's interest rate hike. The BOK raised their interest rates to 3.00% in an attempt to curb high inflationary pressures. The interest rates have already been raised for a total of 250 basis points in this cycle, an action that will weigh heavily on the economy.

"Looking ahead, weakening export prospects, elevated domestic inflation, rising debt servicing burdens and tightening policy all point to intensifying growth headwinds," explained ANZ senior economist Bansi Madhavani about South Korea's economic future.

South Korea has the fourth-largest economy in Asia and the 10th-largest in the world.