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Financial News: South Korea Expands At Weaker Pace In Q3

South Korea Expands At Weaker Pace In Q3

10/23/2019 - 23:56:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - South Korea's economy expanded at a slower pace in the third quarter as global uncertainties weighed on investment, preliminary data from the Bank of Korea showed Thursday.

Gross domestic product grew 0.4 percent sequentially after rising 1 percent in the second quarter. GDP was forecast to expand 0.5 percent.

On a yearly basis, Asia's fourth-largest economy maintained 2 percent growth, in line with expectations.

The International Monetary Fund projected the economy to expand 2 percent this year, weaker than its previous forecast of 2.6 percent.

The expenditure-side breakdown of GDP revealed that investment dragged the overall growth. Gross fixed capital formation declined 2.3 percent, reversing last quarter's 1.6 percent increase.

Construction investment shrank 5.2 percent, while facilities investment rose 0.5 percent led by transport equipment investment.

At the same time, growth in final consumption expenditure eased to 0.4 percent from 1.1 percent.

Meanwhile, driven by auto and semiconductors demand, exports grew at a faster pace of 4.1 percent, following a 2 percent rise. On the other hand, imports gained 0.9 percent, slower than the 2.9 percent increase a quarter ago.

Alex Holmes, an economist at Capital Economics, said looser fiscal and monetary policy should help the economy to regain some momentum in the quarters ahead.

However, with external headwinds set to remain, the rebound in growth is only likely to be gradual, the economist noted.

The economist forecasts growth of 2.5 percent in 2020, slightly higher than the consensus forecast of 2.2 percent, but in line with the central bank's estimate.

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