South Korea's economy grew at its slowest pace in 18 months

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

South Korea, the fourth largest Asian economy, grew 0.4% in the the three months to December marking its slowest pace in six quarters as construction investment and exports fell.

Construction investment fell by 1.7%, with civil engineering and exports contracting by 0.1% as a fall in transport services more than offset a rise in automobile shipment, the nation’s central bank said Wednesday.

The data comes less than a month after the country lowered its growth outlook for 2017 to 2.6% from 3% on concerns domestic demand was slipping and waning job growth was holding back a recovery. The government is also in turmoil after lawmakers voted to impeach President Park Geun-hye over an influence-peddling scandal. The scandal and subsequent investigations have battered consumer and business confidence, with the consumer confidence.

Manufacturing grew by 1.8%, mainly due to an expansion in machinery & equipment while electricity, gas & water supply fell by 4.3%. Services showed no change, as the growth in health and social welfare was negated by a decline in real estate & leasing, the central bank said.

The economy expanded 2.7% in 2016 up from 2.6% in the previous year, Bank of Korea said.

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