South Korea’s Economy Contracts for First Time since Pandemic Begins

South Korea’s economy marked the first contraction since the beginning of the pandemic last quarter as exports fell and consumer spending dipped in response to rising interest rates.

The country’s gross domestic product fell 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the previous quarter.

According to the Bank of Korea, private consumption fell by 0.4%, exports decreased by 5.8%, and manufacturing dropped by 4.1%.

The rise in government spending was 3.2%, a significant increase from the 0.1% growth seen in the previous quarter.

On a year-on-year basis, South Korea’s final quarter GDP gained 1.4% compared to a year earlier, slightly missing Reuters’ expectations of a 1.5% growth.