South Korea’s economy avoided recession thanks to a boost in consumer spending

SEOUL ( – South Korea’s economy in the first quarter expanded by 0.3 percent from the previous three-month period, preliminary official estimates showed on Tuesday, compared with an average increase of 0.2 percent expected in a Reuters survey.

This follows a 0.4 percent contraction of Asia’s fourth-largest economy during the last quarter of 2022, which was the first decline in 2.5 years. Economists usually define a recession as two consecutive quarters of contraction.

A year earlier, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased 0.8 percent during the January-March period, according to estimates by the Korean central bank, compared with gains of 1.3 percent in the previous quarter and 0.9 percent in the survey.

The biggest contributor to GDP in the first quarter was private consumption which grew 0.5 percent, while capital investment suppressed economic growth, down 4.0 percent. Exports rose 3.8 percent, while imports grew 3.5 percent.

Korea’s central bank said earlier this month that economic growth this year would be weaker than its previous projection of 1.6 percent, when it held interest rates steady for the second straight meeting.

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Translator: Apep Suhendar
Editor: Biqwanto Situmorang


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