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S. Korea's economy contracts 0.3% q/q in Q1, worst since 2008 global financial crisis Updated: 2019-04-26 04:12:32 KST


South Korea's economy shrank in the first quarter, declining zero.three percent on-quarter.
This makes it the worst contraction since the global financial crisis, when the local economy sank three.three percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.
On-year, first quarter real GDP expanded one.eight percent.

"Private consumption and government consumption increased. But exports, capital investment and construction investment all fell."

Exports, which account for around half the country's GDP, tumbled two.six percent on-quarter, mainly on decreases in exports of electrical and electronic equipment like LCDs.
Private consumption edged up zero.one percent.
Government consumption rose zero.three percent, with increased health care benefits, but much lower than the three percent growth seen in the fourth quarter.
Capital investment plummeted nearly 11 percent to a 21-year-low due to decreases in machinery equipment like chips.
Construction investment edged down zero.one percent.

"Overall, investment remains sluggish, but falling exports in recent months weighed on growth in the first quarter. A base effect also played a role as fourth quarter growth was unusually high due to government spending. But with the global economy expected to slow down further, export growth will likely remain weak and there is no growth momentum for the local economy right now."

Led by finance minister Hong Nam-ki, economy-related ministers held an emergency meeting Thursday and said the government will provide support measures including the injection of an extra budget and improving the corporate investment environment.
The Bank of Korea had already cut its growth outlook for the year by zero.one percentage points to 2.five percent last week.

To reach that target, the BOK said the local economy will have to grow by around 1.two percent in the second quarter and by around zero.eight to zero.nine percent in the remaining two quarters.
Kim Hyesung, Arirang News.
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