The South Korean economic growth accelerated in the first quarter of 2017, the advanced estimate of the Bank of Korea showed. The preliminary data for the first quarter indicated that the real GDP grew 0.9 percent on a sequential basis, as compared with the 0.5 percent growth seen in the prior quarter. This is more than the forecast of 0.7 percent growth.
Gross fixed capital formation contributed the most to the first quarter growth. It expanded 4 percent sequentially. Within the gross fixed capital formation, construction rose 5.3 percent. Meanwhile, private consumption rose 0.4 percent, with overseas consumption by residents increasing. Expenditures on non-durable goods and services dropped. Exports grew 1.9 percent sequentially, while imports were up 4.3 percent, thanks to growth in imports and machinery and equipment and precision instruments.
On a year-on-year basis, South Korea’s real GDP grew 2.7 percent in the March quarter, as compared with the 2.4 percent growth recorded in the fourth quarter of 2016. It is slightly above the forecast of 2.6 percent growth. Private consumption was up 2 percent, whereas government consumption rose 2.7 percent. On a year-on-year basis, construction was up 9.7 percent. Exports grew 3.7 percent year-on-year, while imports were up 9.4 percent.
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