25 April 2013 06:17 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s GDP growth in the first three months of 2013 accelerated to a two-year high of 0.9% against the previous quarter’s 0.3%, indicating sustained economic improvement from late last year, its central bank said on Thursday.
Gross fixed capital formation expanded 2.9% quarter-on-quarter, reversing a 1.6% contraction registered in the fourth quarter of 2012.
“Exports grew by 3.2% and imports by 2.5%, centring around exports of petrochemical products and imports of electrical machine and petrochemical products,” the Bank of Korea said in a statement, citing preliminary data.
South Korea is a major exporter of benzene to the US, and also ships out most petrochemical products to China.
On a year-on-year basis, the South Korean economy posted a 1.5% growth in the first quarter – unchanged from the fourth quarter and about half the pace recorded in the same period last year – given a significant deceleration in manufacturing activities.
Manufacturing was up 1.1% in the three months to March compared with a 4.1% expansion in the first quarter of 2012.
Construction in the March quarter 2013 expanded at a 0.9% rate, lower than the 1.9% in the same period last year but represents a reversal of the 1.6% decline posted in the December quarter, official data showed.
Exports in the first three months of the year grew 3.6%, down from a 5.7% clip recorded in the same period in 2012, while imports growth also weakened to 1.8% from 4.7%.
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