SEOUL, KOREA - Korea's first-quarter GDP growth rate has been 0.9 percent. This is slightly higher than the level predicted earlier by Bank of Korea governor Kim Choong-soo. The Bank of Korea said on April 25 that the first-quarter GDP has grown 0.9 percent from the previous quarter.
On April 11, the central bank governor had said the quarterly growth rate would be 0.8 percent immediately after a Monetary Policy Committee meeting to keep the benchmark interest rate unchanged.
Given that the GDP growth rates in the third and fourth quarters last year were 0.0 and 0.3 percent respectively, the 0.8-percent growth may be interpreted as a signal that the economy is making a gradual recovery. The better-than-expected GDP performance is attributed to a rise in exports and investment in plants and equipment.
Kim Young-bae, the central bank's senior manager responsible for economic statistics, said, "We can't rule out the base effect because the last year's growth rate was so low. Right now, it is not clear yet whether the economy is in a recovery phase or not."
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