South Korea’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter ended June 30 grew 0.6 percent against the previous three-month period, losing steam from the surprising pickup of 1.1 percent in the first quarter as overall manufacturing activity stayed subdued except for semiconductors and petrochemicals.
According to second-quarter preliminary data released by the Bank of Korea on Friday, the country’s GDP totaled 386.6 trillion won ($344.3 billion) in the April-June period. The figure was unchanged from the headline number released in late July.
Against a year-ago period, the GDP grew 2.7 percent in the second quarter, slowing from 2.9 percent gain in the first quarter.
The string of data released on Friday - the biggest jump in inflation in more than five years, still-robust exports and slowed growth - underscored instability in the recovery pace. The composite stock price index ended Friday 0.23 percent lower at 2,357.69. The won gained 4.20 to finish at 1,122.80 against the U.S. dollar.
Overseas shipment in the second quarter contracted 2.9 percent on quarter, reversing from 2.1 percent gain in the previous quarter as automobile shipment to China sharply dropped due to Beijing’s retaliation against Seoul’s installation of a powerful U.S antimissile battery. The figure was revised up slightly from 3.0 percent fall in July.
Imports also shrank by 1.0 percent due to reduced crude oil import.
Manufacturing output fell 0.3 percent on quarter.
The domestic demand showed improvement amid expectations for the new government’s promise to increase income and hiring.
Private consumption rose 1.0 percent on quarter in the biggest gain in six quarters.
Facilities investment surged 5.2 percent on quarter and 17.3 percent on year due largely to expansion in chipmaking facility.
Construction investment also edged up 0.3 percent, compared with 6.8 percent gain in the first quarter.
Gross corporate investment rate was 31.5 percent, up from 30.5 percent in the first quarter and highest since the second quarter of 2012.
By sector, agriculture and fisheries output fell 1.1 percent, manufacturing 0.3 percent, and construction 1.3 percent. Service output accelerated by 0.8 percent, reflecting a slight recovery in consumer demand.
Gross national income in the second quarter after seasonal adjustment shrank 0.6 percent from the previous quarter to 401.6 trillion won due to a sharp rise in dividend payment made by local firms to offshore investors. The final figure was revised down from 403.5 trillion won in July.
The share of gross saving against GDP slightly declined to 35.7 percent from 36.9 percent in the first quarter as private expenditure grew 2.3 percent, faster than an increase of 0.4 percent in disposable income.
By Boo Jang-won
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]