S. Korea growth slows to 1.5% in Q3

Agence France-Presse
South Korea, Asia's 4th largest economy, grows 1.5% in July-September, compared to 2.3% on-year gain in the second quarter due to shrinking investment and manufacturing

SEOUL, South Korea – Asia’s 4th largest economy was up 1.5%  year-on-year for July-September quarter, compared to 2.3% on-year gain in the second quarter.

South Korea’s gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic performance — slowed down due to shrinking investment and manufacturing, data showed Thursday, December 6.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the economy grew 0.1% in the 3rd quarter from the previous 3 months — the slowest pace in more than 3 years.

The revised figure — compared to 0.2% growth predicted by the Bank of Korea in October — was the same as the first quarter of 2009 when the South was hit by the global financial crisis.

Exports, which account for nearly half of Asia’s 4th largest economy, rose 2.8% from the previous quarter due to robust overseas shipments of mobile devices and petrochemical products.

Consumer spending rose 0.7% during the same period, picking up from the second quarter’s 0.4% gain, on increased spending on mobile phones and fuels.

But facility investment shrank 4.8% from the previous quarter, worse than the central bank’s earlier estimate in October, hitting key industries such as semiconductors and autos.

Manufacturing production also fell 0.4%. Farming production, hit by recent storms and other natural disasters, tumbled 4.1% from the second quarter.

Construction investment inched up 0.1%, weaker than the central bank’s earlier projection of a 0.2% rise.

South Korea, with an export-led economy, tends to mirror the fortunes of the region, and its GDP numbers are often a harbinger of broader trends in Asia. – Agence France-Presse

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