The South Korean economy expanded 3.1 percent year-on-year in the three months to December 2018, accelerating from a 2.0 percent growth in the previous quarter and beating market expectations of 2.8 percent, advanced data showed. It was the fastest growth since the third quarter 2017, mainly nudged by a 5.5 percent expansion in manufacturing (vs 2.8 percent in the previous three months) and 5.5 percent growth in utilities (vs 1.9 percent in Q3). Meantime, services gained steam (2.7 percent vs 2.4 percent) and primary activity rebounded (+2.9 percent vs -2.4 percent). In contrast, construction fell 5.8 percent, following a sharp 8.1 percent decline. For the whole year, GDP expanded 2.7 percent, the slowest annual growth since 2012, compared to 3.1 percent in the previous year. GDP Annual Growth Rate in South Korea averaged 7.38 percent from 1961 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 20.80 percent in the fourth quarter of 1969 and a record low of -7.30 percent in the second quarter of 1998.
GDP Annual Growth Rate in South Korea is expected to be 2.50 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate GDP Annual Growth Rate in South Korea to stand at 2.30 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the South Korea GDP Annual Growth Rate is projected to trend around 1.50 percent in 2020, according to our econometric models.