South Korea GDP Surprisingly Expands 1.1% QoQ In Q1


The South Korean economy advanced 1.1 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2017, higher than preliminary estimates of a 0.9 percent expansion. Growth outpaced tandem 0.5 percent expansions in the previous two quarters and is the highest since the third quarter of 2015. On the production side, faster growth was explained by improvements in all components, excluding services, which kept growing at the same pace versus the preceding quarter. Construction expanded at a much faster pace of 5.3 percent (vs 4 percent in the initial estimate and 1.3 percent in Q4).

On the supply side, services edged up 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2017, matching than the 0.2 percent in the last three months of 2016. Contrastingly, construction grew at a much faster pace of 5.3 percent (from 1.3 percent). Manufacturing also gained steam in the first three months of 2017, growing 2.1 percent after expanding 1.8 percent in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, agriculture rebounded in Q1, rising 5.9 percent after contracting 1.8 percent. As for utilities, the 1.4 percent fall was softer than the preceding 3.0 percent decline.

On the expenditure side, private consumption expanded 0.4 percent in the first quarter of 2017 (compared to 0.2 percent in the previous quarter). Government spending grew at a softer pace of 0.5 percent (from 0.6 percent). Meanwhile, gross fixed capital formation expanded 4.9 percent following a 1.0 percent increase in the preceding quarter, with construction leading the way (+6.8 percent from -1.2 percent). Exports rebounded by 2.1 percent after a slight 0.1 percent contraction in the previous three months. Imports also rebounded markedly, increasing by 4.8 percent after also contracting 0.1 percent in the last three months of 2016.

Year-on-year, the economy advanced 2.9 percent, also outpacing initial estimates of a 2.7 percent expansion and above the 2.4 percent growth of the previous quarter.

Mario | mario@tradingeconomics.com
6/1/2017 11:30:23 PM