Korea Among Slowest-Growing Asian Economies

Korea's economy grew 2.8 percent in 2013, rebounding for the first time in three years but still ranking among the slowest economies in Asia, the Bank of Korea said Thursday.

GDP grew 6.3 percent in 2010, but that fell to 3.7 percent in 2011 and even further to two percent in 2012.

Korea's growth rate last year was lower than its potential economic growth rate -- the rate of economic growth, which is sustainable over the md-term without triggering inflationary pressures -- in the upper three-percent range.

Last year's rebound was attributable to strong exports and recovering investment in construction.

Last year, exports rose 4.3 percent compared to 2012 to a record US$559.7 billion. Construction investment, which had shrunk over the previous three years, rose 6.9 percent.

Private consumption also increased 1.9 percent last year compared to 1.7 percent in 2012.

"Exports are leading the overall growth trend, but the contribution of domestic consumption is rising," said Chung Young-taek at the BOK. "This year, exports are once again leading growth, while domestic consumption will increase simultaneously to show an overall growth trend."

The central bank expects Korea's economy to grow 3.8 percent this year.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 24, 2014 12:22 KST