October 28, 2020 12:20
Korea's economy fared better in the third quarter of this year than during the first and second, when the world was locked down due to the coronavirus epidemic.
The improved performance was due to a recovery in exports, but private consumption and construction investment were still below last year's level.
The Bank of Korea said Tuesday that third-quarter GDP increased 1.9 percent from the previous quarter to W456.9 trillion, slightly better than market projections (US$1=W1,127).
In the first and second quarters the economy shrank 1.3 percent and 3.2 percent on-quarter. But then exports recovered as the U.S. and Europe eased lockdowns.
Exports surged 15.6 percent in the July-to-September period after dropping 16.1 percent during the second quarter, the worst performance in 57 years. Monthly exports shifted to growth in September and continued to grow this month led by cars and semiconductors. Facilities investment also rose 6.7 percent.
But private spending contracted 0.1 percent on-quarter. It plummeted 6.5 percent in the first quarter but rose 1.5 percent in the second thanks to emergency aid money provided by the government to spur spending.
A resurgence in coronavirus infections in Seoul in mid-August forced health authorities to bolster social distancing, and spending dropped again.
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