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S. Korea increases '13 GDP growth to 3%, boosted by manufacturing, exports

SEOUL--South Korea's economy expanded 3.0 percent last, the central bank said Wednesday, better than a previous estimate as it was boosted by robust exports and growth in the manufacturing sector.

The revised figure for gross domestic product (GDP) — the broadest measure of economic performance — was higher than the 2.8 percent earlier stated and marked the fastest expansion since the 3.7 percent seen in 2011.

However, the Bank of Korea also revised down its fourth quarter growth to 3.7 percent year on year, from an earlier estimate of 3.9 percent.

“Investment on (corporate) infrastructure was sluggish but steady growth in consumer spending ... and exports helped prop up the growth,” the Bank of Korea said in a statement.

Exports — which account for a half of the entire economy — rose 4.3 percent last year, while manufacturing production expanded 3.3 percent.

Asia's fourth-largest economy suffered during the global slowdown, which cut demand for its key exports including cars, ships and electronics.

But overseas shipments hit a record high of US$559.72 billion in 2013 as global demand picks up.

The central bank has forecast 3.8 percent growth in 2014, boosted by the government's stimulus spending and improving overseas markets.

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