South Korea posts fastest growth in three quarters on government spending lift

For the whole of 2018, the South Korean economy grew by 2.7 per cent, the slowest expansion in six years.
For the whole of 2018, the South Korean economy grew by 2.7 per cent, the slowest expansion in six years.PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (REUTERS) - South Korea's economy expanded at the fastest pace in three quarters in the last three months of 2018 thanks to a jump in government spending, though weakness in exports cast a cloud over the outlook for growth.

Gross domestic product increased by a seasonally adjusted 1 per cent in the fourth quarter from three months earlier, the Bank of Korea said on Tuesday (Jan 22), outperforming the median forecast of 0.6 per cent in a Reuters survey.

From a year earlier, the economy grew 3.1 per cent in the fourth quarter and marked the fastest expansion in five quarters, compared with 2.8 per cent seen in the poll and 2.0 per cent expansion in the third quarter.

For the whole of last year, the economy grew by 2.7 per cent, the slowest expansion in six years but matching the 2.7 per cent growth projected by the central bank.