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(LEAD) Korean economy grows 0.4 pct on-quarter in Q3: BOK

Economy 08:01 October 24, 2019

(ATTN: CHANGES lead; UPDATES with additional details, more information)

SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean economy continued to grow at a steady pace in the third quarter, partly helped by increased government spending and a slight rebound in exports from three months earlier, central bank data showed Thursday.

In the three months ended Sept. 30, the country's real gross domestic product (GDP) gained 0.4 percent from the previous quarter, according to the advance data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The Q3 estimate marks a slowdown from a revised 1 percent on-quarter expansion in the April-June period.

However, from the same period last year, the local economy grew 2 percent in the third quarter, on par with the revised 2 percent on-year growth in the previous quarter, according to the BOK.

The steady growth apparently offers some relief as it follows an unexpected 0.4 percent on-year contraction in the first quarter.

But it may still come as a disappointment to many, including the BOK, which had projected a 2.2 percent on-year growth for Asia's fourth-largest economy in its latest growth outlook in July.

The central bank is widely expected to further slash its growth outlook in its final estimate due next month.

It was again government spending that helped keep Asia's fourth-largest economy growing.

Government spending gained 1.2 percent on-quarter in the July-September period, while private consumption inched up only 0.1 percent.

On an on-year basis, government spending surged 6.8 percent, while private spending gained 1.7 percent.

Exports also contributed to growth despite a steady decline in shipments, gaining 4.1 percent from three months earlier or 1.3 percent from the same period last year.

South Korea's exports have dropped for 10 consecutive months since December amid the trade conflict between the world's two largest economies -- the United States and China -- that are also the largest importers of South Korean products.

Against such a backdrop, the country's facility investment shrank 2.7 percent on-year in the third quarter, following a 7 percent plunge the previous quarter.

Construction investment slipped 3 percent from the same period last year in the July-September period.


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