• SKorea economy gains pace in Q2

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    SEOUL: South Korea’s economy posted improved growth in the second quarter as exports and domestic consumption picked up, the central Bank of Korea (BoK) said on Tuesday.

    Asia’s fourth largest economy grew 0.7 percent in the April-June period from the previous quarter and 3.2 percent compared to a year earlier, according to preliminary figures released by the central bank.

    The second quarter estimate marks a slight improvement from a 0.5 percent on-quarter growth in the first three months of this year.

    Exports, which account for nearly half of the country’s economy, grew 0.9 percent from the January-March period on increased overseas demand for semiconductors, petroleum and chemical products, the bank said.

    Domestic consumption also expanded 0.9 percent, recording a turnaround from negative growth in the previous quarter. The central bank attributed the improvement to more sales of durable goods such as clothing.

    South Korea has been struggling to keep its economy afloat amid a global economic slowdown, with the central bank keeping its key interest rate at a record low in a bid to spur domestic spending.

    The Bank of Korea cut the country’s growth outlook earlier this month to 2.7 percent citing uncertainties in the global economy following Britain’s shock decision to leave the EU in June.

    Seoul’s finance ministry cut its own growth outlook to 2.8 percent from 3.1 percent last month following the British referendum result and unveiled a 20 trillion won ($17 billion) stimulus package.

    The South’s economy expanded 2.6 percent last year—the lowest since 2012.

    AFP

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