The Korean economy grew only 0.3% in the third quarter (July-September) as private consumption and investment took a step back due to the impact of the 4th COVID-19 pandemic and supply bottlenecks.

Achieving 4% annual growth this year will not be easy unless there is a clear recovery in the remaining fourth quarters.

The Bank of Korea (BOK) announced today (26th) that the real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate (preliminary estimate, quarter-on-quarter) in the third quarter of this year stood at 0.3%.

The quarterly growth rate recorded negative (-) in the first quarter (-1.3%) and the second quarter (-3.2%) in the first quarter of last year (-3.2%) along with the outbreak of COVID-19, followed by the third quarter (2.2%), the fourth quarter (1.1%), and the first quarter of this year ( 1.7%), the second quarter (0.8%), and the third quarter (0.3%) maintained growth for five consecutive quarters.

However, the growth rate in the third quarter of this year was significantly lower than in the previous quarters and first quarters.

In August, the BOK kept its growth forecast for this year at 4.0%, and when announcing the preliminary GDP growth rate for the second quarter in September, it was analyzed that a 4.0% growth is possible this year if it increases by 0.6% each (compared to the previous quarter) in the third and fourth quarters. .

First of all, the growth rate in the third quarter (0.3%) was only half of 0.6%.

Looking at the growth rate in the third quarter by sector, private consumption decreased by 0.3%, led by services (food, accommodation, entertainment, etc.).

Facility investment also fell 2.3% due to the contraction of transportation equipment (automobiles, etc.)

Amid sluggish consumption and investment, government consumption increased by 1.1% thanks to spending on goods.

Exports increased by 1.5%, led by coal and petroleum products, and machinery and equipment, but imports decreased by 0.6% as transportation equipment (cars, etc.) decreased.

(Photo = Yonhap News)