South Korea's economy grew a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter over the previous three months as capital investment grew at the fastest pace in nearly two years, meeting market expectations and boosting growth prospects for 2014.
The median forecast from a Reuters survey of 15 analysts was for Asia's fourth-largest economy to expand by 0.9 percent in the three months to December, following growth of 1.1 percent in both the second and third quarter of 2013.
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While a contraction in construction investment led to slower overall growth in the fourth quarter, capital investment during the October-December period grew by a seasonally adjusted 6.4 percent from the previous quarter to mark the fastest expansion since the first quarter of 2012 and suggested firm economic momentum for the coming quarters.
Private consumption also grew by a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent last quarter in sequential terms, in line with a 1.0 percent expansion seen in the previous period and bolstering policymakers' expectations that domestic demand will do more heavy lifting this year.