South Korea's economic growth continued to slow in the first quarter on sagging exports and sluggish consumption, central bank data showed Tuesday.
In the three months ended March 31, the country's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.4 percent from the previous quarter, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK), reported by state-run Yonhap news agency.
The Q1 estimate marks a slowdown from a 0.7 percent on-quarter expansion in the previous quarter. From a year earlier, it marks a 2.7 percent growth. The Q1 reading also came a week after the BOK slashed its growth outlook for 2016 to 2.8 percent from 3.0 percent forecast three months earlier.
The low growth in the January-March period was largely attributed to slowing demand here and abroad. Domestic consumption only inched up 0.1 percent from three months earlier despite a 1.3 percent on-quarter growth in government spending as private expenditures slipped 0.3 percent, compared with a 1.4 percent expansion in the previous quarter.
Exports, also a major pillar of growth for Asia's fourth-largest economy, shrank 1.7 percent from the previous quarter. South Korea's exports have fallen every single month since the start of last year.
Domestic gross income, on the other hand, grew 2.8 percent from the previous quarter, quickening from a 0.7 percent rise three months earlier, the BOK said.