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(LEAD) S. Korea economy grows revised 1 percent in Q1: BOK

All News 08:37 June 01, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS more info from 7th para)

SEOUL, June 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's economy grew at a slower-than-expected pace in the first quarter from three months earlier on sluggish construction and facilities investment, central bank data showed Friday.

The country's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 1 percent in the January-March period, rebounding from a 0.2 percent on-quarter contraction three month earlier, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The latest reading marks a slight decrease from an earlier estimate of a 1.1 percent expansion released in April.

The BOK explained that investment in construction and facilities rose 1 percentage point and 1.8 percentage points lower than the April estimate, respectively.

From a year earlier, the local economy grew 2.8 percent in the first quarter, compared with a 3.8 percent on-year expansion in the previous quarter.

Shipping containers await transport at a port in South Korea in this undated file photo. (Yonhap)

Despite the slowdown in their earlier estimate, facilities and construction investment returned to positive terrain. Investment in facilities rose 3.4 percent over the cited period, turning around from a 0.7 percent on-quarter drop in the previous quarter. Construction investment growth also rebounded to 1.8 percent in the first quarter from a 2.3 percent on-quarter drop in Q4.

Private spending rose 0.7 percent on rising sales of passenger cars and home appliances, while government spending gained 2.2 percent in the first three months, marking the fastest quarterly growth in six years.

Exports, which account for around 50 percent of the GDP, rose 4.4 percent on-quarter, rebounding from a 5.3 percent drop in the fourth quarter, while growth in imports also turned around to 4.9 percent.

By production, the central bank said the manufacturing industry climbed 1.6 percent in the first quarter, while the construction sector grew 2.1 percent.

Services expanded by a nearly five-year high of 1.1 percent in the January-March period on booming real estate services.

Meanwhile, the BOK said the country's real gross national income moved up 1.3 percent in the three-month period from a quarter earlier thanks to improving terms of trade.

The gross savings ratio reached 34.9 percent last year, hitting the lowest quarterly percentage since the fourth quarter of 2015, while the country's gross domestic investment ratio edged down to 31.4 percent.


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