South Korea's economy grew 0.3 percent in the second quarter from three months ago due to the negative effect from the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and sluggish exports, central bank data showed Thursday.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 0.3 percent during the April-June period compared with the prior three-month period, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
It was lower than 0.4 percent, which the BOK suggested as its estimate last month. The bank froze the benchmark interest rate at an all-time low of 1.5 percent in July after lowering it by a quarter percentage point in March and June, respectively.
The BOK revised down its 2015 growth outlook for the economy by 0.3 percentage points to 2.8 percent in June on the back of the MERS outbreak.
Thirty-six people died of the MERS corona virus, which infected a total of 186 people. No new case of contagion has been reported in the past 18 days, indicating the MERS crisis nearing to an end.
Consumers refrained from entertainment and social gatherings for the MERS fears. Some shunned even going for shopping, and many people on the street wore facial masks, refraining from going to public venues crowded with people.