South Korea’s economy grew at a snail’s pace of 0.6 percent in the third quarter against the previous three-month period, suggesting it may underperform targeted 2.7 percent annualized growth for this year.
According to revised data released by the Bank of Korea on Tuesday, the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) totaled 400.2 trillion won ($360 billion) in the third quarter ended September, up 0.6 percent on the quarter, unchanged from the preliminary figure released in October. Against the same period last year, the GDP grew 2.0 percent, the slowest in nine years, data showed.
The economy will miss the downgraded target of 2.7 percent for full year unless it delivers a growth of more than 0.8 percent in the final quarter.
The central bank said the growth in construction investment and private spending was slower than preliminary estimates while the growth in facilities investment was revised higher.
Construction investment shrank 6.7 percent on year, bigger than the 6.5 percent fall estimated in October and the lowest since the first quarter of 1998 at the height of Asian financial crisis. Facilities investment contracted 4.4 percent, slightly better the fall of 4.7 percent estimated earlier.
Exports grew 6.1, unchanged from the earlier estimate. Imports contracted 0.7 percent, larger than the preliminary estimate of a 0.1 percent on-quarter fall due to smaller machineries investment.
Private spending grew 0.5 percent, slower than the October estimate of 0.6 percent but it still made a marginal improvement from a 0.3 percent gain in the second quarter.
Government spending increased 1.5 percent, revised down from the earlier estimate of 1.6 percent.
The country’s manufacturing output expanded 2.3 percent on quarter and service output was up 0.5 percent. Both were unchanged from the October estimates. Against a year ago period, they respectively grew 2.8 percent and 2.4 percent.
Real gross national income (GNI) in the third quarter after seasonal adjustment came at 409.8 trillion won, up 0.7 percent on quarter. GNI is the sum of all goods and services a nation produces plus income received from overseas.
By Lee Yu-sup and Cho Jeehyun
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