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S. Korea's Q3 GDP expands 1.9% q/q, first growth in 2020 Updated: 2020-10-27 17:07:29 KST

Despite the surge in COVID-19 infections in the past couple of months, South Korea posted a first quarterly GDP growth of 2020.
The Bank of Korea said on Tuesday that the country's GDP in the third quarter grew by 1.9 percent compared to the previous quarter.
The South Korean economy had previously shrunk, by 1.3 percent in the first quarter and by 3.2 percent in the second quarter.
The central bank says the third quarter's growth could be from the base effect coming after the second quarter saw the lowest growth in over 11 years.
But it also said it could revise its 2020 growth outlook upwards.

"Negative 1.3 growth can be achieved for 2020 if we get 1.3 to 1.4 percent growth in the third and the fourth quarter. Since the third quarter growth is 1.9 percent, the outlook could be revised."

He added that the country's exports played a big part in the improved GDP figures. Exports, which are the key driver of the South Korean economy, rose by 15.6 percent on-quarter led by automobiles and semiconductors mainly due to the economic recovery seen in major trading partners such as China.
One expert said the South Korean economy is still worse compared to the same period last year, but it could get better in some areas over the next few quarters.

"Negative overall growth for 2020 is inevitable in the current situation, but as the government will conduct large scale financial projects, there could be some improvement in the 4th quarter."

Shortly after the central bank released the figures, finance minister Hong Nam-ki said he expects the economy to continue to pick-up in the following quarters.
He said that it is meaningful to see the recovery, especially in exports, but added that the country might have seen even more growth if there hadn't been a resurgence of the virus in August.
Eum Ji-young, Arirang News.
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