Economy Grows at Fastest Clip in Three Years

Korea's economy grew faster than at any time in the last three years during the first quarter, up 3.9 percent from the same period last year.

The Bank of Korea said Thursday that GDP growth stood at 0.9 percent in the three months compared to the fourth quarter of 2013. The figure is provisional.

The economy grew one percent in the second quarter of last year, 1.1 percent in the third quarter and 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the previous three months.

If the economy grows around one percent on-quarter, annual growth is four percent, so economists believe a full-fledged economic recovery is underway.

The sound growth was partially attributable to a “low base effect,” i.e. weak growth in the same period of 2013, but the prevailing view is that the latest performance means the recovery is in full swing.

Exports in the first quarter rose 4.6 percent on-year and imports 3.8 percent.

However, there are fears that private spending during the second quarter may be impacted by the ferry disaster last week as many Koreans put off conspicuous consumption as a show of respect for the victims.

englishnews@chosun.com / Apr. 25, 2014 11:17 KST