South Korea Annual GDP Growth Strongest in Over a Year

The South Korean economy expanded 3.1 percent year-on-year in the three months to December 2018, accelerating from a 2.0 percent growth in the previous quarter and in line with the preliminary estimate and market consensus, final data showed. It was the fastest growth rate since the third quarter of 2017, mainly driven by manufacturing; utilities; services and agriculture, forestry & fishing.

On the production side, faster growth was seen in manufacturing (5.5 percent vs 2.8 percent in Q3); utilities (5.0 percent vs 1.9 percent) and services (2.7 percent vs 2.4 percent). Additionally, agriculture, forestry & fishing activities rebounded (3.2 percent vs -2.4 percent in Q3) and construction output contracted less (-5.8 percent vs -8.1 percent).

On the expenditure side, final consumption gained steam, expanding 3.6 percent after 3.0 percent growth in the third quarter, with government spending surging 7.1 percent (vs +4.6 percent) and private spending increasing for the second consecutive period by 2.5 percent. Also, gross fixed investment shrank at a softer pace (-3.8 percent vs -6.6 percent). Meantime, exports jumped 7.2 percent (vs preliminary 6.5 percent and +3.1 percent in Q3) and imports rebounded 2.5 percent (vs -1.8 percent and a above a preliminary +1.6 percent).

On a quearterly basis, the South Korean economy expanded 1.0 percent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to December 2018, up from a 0.6 percent growth in the previous three months.

Considering full 2018, the GDP advanced 2.7 percent, the slowest annual growth since 2012, retreating from a 3.1 percent expansion in 2017.

South Korea Annual GDP Growth Strongest in Over a Year

Bank of Korea | Mario |
3/5/2019 12:15:18 PM