South Korean economy grew 0.2% in last quarter

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

According to data from South Korea's national bank, the country's economy grew by 0.2% in the last quarter of 2009.

The rise is now 6%, year-on-year, but the quarterly growth was slower than the 3.2% in the third quarter, according to the Bank of Korea. That increase was the best quarterly gain seen in over seven years.

Analysts were predicting a slightly higher performance, 0.3%, for the last quarter, and 6.2% year-on-year, a Dow Jones Newswires survey of economists reported.

"The data was weaker than market expectation, but a central bank official defended it as a temporary correction after the rapid rebound in Q3," analysts at Calyon, an investment banking entity, remarked in a note to clients. "Nonetheless, the weak data lowered the chance that the [Bank of Korea] will raise interest rate in its February meeting."

Meanwhile in the gross domestic product (GDP) report, the Bank of Korea said manufacturing was lower by 1.3% during the fourth quarter, and construction by 1.4%. The bank said the losses were "attributable to a decrease in building construction." Exports fell by 1.8%.