South Korea’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.0 percent against the previous quarter, slower than the preliminary rate of 1.1 percent released in April, the central bank’s revised data showed, in another indication of fragility in the recovery pace.
The Bank of Korea on Friday adjusted down the first-quarter growth but maintained the economy was in the course for an annualized full-year growth of 3.0 percent for this year.
The BOK Governor Lee Ju-yeol after presiding the May monetary policy meeting said the bank still “believes the economy can grow at its potential rate (of 3.0 percent),” despite worsening economic conditions.
The main Kospi bourse ended Friday up 0.66 percent at 2,438.96. The Korean currency closed up 2.7 won at 1,075.0 won against the U.S. dollar.
The growth in construction and facility investments was lower than the preliminary estimates, contributing to the pared growth in the overall economy, the bank said.
Construction investment grew 1.8 percent in the first quarter, revised down from the 2.8 percent gain in April’s preliminary data but it was highest since the first quarter of 2017. The on-quarter growth for the facility investment was also adjusted down to 3.4 percent from April’s 5.2 percent but it was the best since the second quarter last year.
Exports expanded 4.4 percent the first quarter, unchanged from the April preliminary number, thanks to the still robust overseas demand in semiconductors and machinery. Imports grew 4.9 percent, revised down from 5.5 percent.
Private spending grew 0.7 percent - revised up from 0.6 percent in April and the best since the first quarter last year - thanks to rises in durable goods and semi-durable goods sales.
Government spending gained 2.2 percent in the first quarter, 0.3 percentage points lower than the preliminary number but the highest in 24 consecutive quarters.
By sector, agriculture and fisheries output grew 6.0 percent, construction 1.6 percent, and manufacturing 2.1 percent.
Services output rose 1.1 percent, the fastest pace since the second quarter of 2013.
Gross national income in the first quarter after seasonal adjustment rose 1.3 percent from the previous quarter. The share of gross saving against GDP recorded 34.9 percent in the first quarter, the lowest in nine straight quarters. Gross corporate investment rate was 31.4 percent, down 0.4 percentage points from the fourth quarter.
By Kim In-oh and Cho Jeehyun
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