South Korea’s Economic Growth Slows
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – South Korea's economic growth slowed as expected in the final quarter of last year on weaker construction spending, despite robust exports that reaffirms a recovery in Asia's fourth-largest economy.
Gross domestic product rose a seasonally adjusted 0.9% in the October-December period from the previous quarter, when the economy expanded 1.1%, the Bank of Korea said Thursday.
On a year-on-year basis, the economy expanded 3.9% in the final quarter--the fastest since the first quarter of 2011--accelerating from the third quarter's 3.3% gain.
The latest GDP results met market expectations for South Korea's economy to have grown 0.9% on quarter and 3.9% on year in the fourth quarter, The Wall Street Journal reported.
"Exports returned to growth with private consumption and facilities investment on the rise, but construction investment decreased," the central bank said in a statement. Slower growth in the final quarter had been widely expected with much government budget spending front-loaded last year.
For the whole year of 2013, the economy expanded 2.8% as projected in October in a pickup from the three-year low of 2% growth in 2012.
The BOK has said the economy likely will continue to pick up through this year at fiscal spending at home and an international recovery, forecasting growth of 3.8% for 2014 and 4% for 2015 respectively.
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday raised its 2014 global growth forecast to 3.7%, up 0.1 percentage point from its October outlook, citing stronger U.S., euro-zone and Japanese growth.
The central bank kept its policy rate steady at 2.5% for an eighth-straight month in January, citing uncertainty surrounding the U.S. Federal Reserve's exit of its stimulus, slower growth in emerging markets and volatile capital flows.