Korea posts faster-than-expected recovery in Q1
The Korean economy grew 1.6 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of the year, led mostly by a recovery in exports, investment and private consumption, raising hopes for a faster rebound of Asia's fourth-largest economy this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, data showed Tuesday.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance said the economy recovered at the fastest rate among the global top 10 economies, overshooting market consensus by about twice the estimate that projected less than 1 percent growth.

Korea is one of only a few advanced 스포츠토토사이트 alongside the U.S. and Australia expecting to see their GDP growth recover to pre-crisis levels this year.

Yet, the surprising growth measured by key indices still calls for government assistance to lessen the yearlong financial difficulty experienced by low-income earners, small business owners and the self-employed.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said the economy is expected to grow by more than its earlier forecast of 3.2 percent.

"The Korean economy is expected to recover the fastest among the top 10 economies, recovering to the level just before the crisis," Hong told reporters at the Sejong Government Complex.

"It is also very encouraging to see the recovery was underpinned not only by corporate investment and export but also domestic consumption, an indication of the country's strong resilience."

According to the advance estimate released by Bank of Korea earlier in the day the 1.6 percent quarter-on-quarter growth was backed by a 1.1 percent increase in private consumption and a 6.6 percent jump in facility investment.

Private consumption increased 1.1 percent as consumption of durable goods inched up including vehicle and home appliances and non-durable goods including food and beverage products. The clear upturn compares to indices that failed to report any growth in the third quarter of last year followed by 1.5 percent growth the following quarter.

Facility investment also grew 6.6 percent led by the increase in machinery and transport equipment. Construction investment also went up 0.4 percent backed by a strong recovery in the construction of buildings.

The government spending raised the growth rate by 0.3 percentage points, mostly through increased spending following extra budgets.

By sector, manufacturing jumped 2.8 percent, agriculture, forestry and fisheries (6.5 percent), services industries (0.8 percent) construction (0.4 percent) and electric gas and waterworks (6.2 percent).

Private consumption contributed 0.5 percentage points to growth in the January-March period, while net exports (export-import) led to an estimated 0.2 percentage point decrease in the growth of the economy.

This means that private consumption raised the growth rate by 0.5 percentage points, but net exports fell 0.2 percentage points because import growth was faster than exports. Yet the decrease in net exports is not all bad news, considering a spike in imports means soaring demand for domestic consumption, according to the central bank.

The surprise growth in the first quarter bodes well for the country's recovery momentum, Hong added.

"It is heartening to see improvements in the global economy and clear signs of recovery on the domestic front indicated by 45.4 percent growth in export and 17.5 percent jump in credit card transactions in the first 20 days of April. The government will proactively prepare measures to ease difficulties experienced by export and logistics firms and boost consumption in preparation for improved quarantine conditions to help ensure faster-than-expected recovery," he said.

The economy will grow 3.6 percent this year if the quarter-on-quarter growth rate ranges between 0.4 and 0.5 percent in the second quarter and 3.8 percent if the figures jump further to between 0.6 and 0.7 percent.
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