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(LEAD) S. Korea's economic growth slows in Q4

All News 08:38 January 26, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with additional information in last 4 paras)

SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's fourth-quarter economic growth more than halved from three months earlier as plunging construction investment offset a visible recovery in consumer spending and exports, the central bank said Tuesday.

In the three months that ended on Dec. 31, the gross domestic product of Asia's fourth-largest economy expanded 0.6 percent from the previous quarter, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK). From a year earlier, it grew 3 percent.

The Q4 tally marks a slowdown from a 1.3 percent on-quarter rise in the third quarter, the highest reading since the second quarter of 2010.

"Consumer spending continued to increase at a faster rate with exports doing better, but investment in the construction sector dropped by a large margin," the BOK said.

In the October-December period, consumer spending grew 1.5 percent on-quarter, quickening from a 1.2 percent expansion in the previous quarter.

Exports increased 2.1 percent over the cited period, while government spending and equipment investment gained 1.2 percent and 0.9 percent on-quarter, respectively.

Construction investment plunged 6.1 percent from the previous quarter.

For all of 2015, the country's economy grew 2.6 percent, lower than a 2.7 percent on-year expansion forecast earlier and slowing from 3.3 percent growth in the previous year.

"Private spending and investment in the construction sector expanded at a fast clip, contributing to the expansion of the overall economy, but the growth of exports and investment in intellectual property products slowed," the BOK said.

South Korea's exports dipped every single month in 2015.

GDP by the agricultural sector gained 2.7 percent from a year earlier in 2015, with those by the manufacturing and service industries growing at 1.4 percent and 2.8 percent on-year, respectively.


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