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South Korea Q1 GDP +0.9% On Quarter


South Korea's gross domestic product climbed 0.9 percent in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the previous three months, the Bank of Korea said in an advanced estimate on Thursday.

That was in line with expectations following the 0.3 percent gain in the previous three months and the 0.8 percent gain in Q3.

On the expenditure side, private consumption added 1.0 percent, led by increased expenditures on durables such as computers, the bank said, and on non-durables such as pharmaceuticals.

Facilities investment spiked 10.8 percent, with increased investment in semiconductor manufacturing equipment. Construction investment shed 0.7 percent, as residential building construction and civil engineering were sluggish.

Exports jumped 3.4 percent thanks to support from the automobiles and petrochemical products, although exports of mobile phones and steel were down.

On the production side, the manufacturing sector expanded 2.2 percent, despite lackluster metal product and general machinery output, as production of automobiles and petrochemicals increased.

Electricity, gas and water supply contracted 4.3 percent with the fall in electricity output, the bank noted. Construction fell 1.0 percent, as the declines in residential building construction and civil engineering offset the increase in non-residential building construction.

Services climbed 0.9 percent, as gains for instance in information and communication and health and social work offset the decline in financial intermediation.

Real gross domestic income rose 0.2 percent on quarter.

On a yearly basis, GDP was up 2.8 percent - missing forecasts for a 3.0 percent gain following the 3.3 percent increase in the fourth quarter of 2011 and the 3.5 percent gain in the third quarter.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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