October 26, 2017 / 12:54 AM / a year ago

S.Korean GDP growth set to top 3 pct in 2017 – central bank official

SEOUL, Oct 26 (Reuters) - South Korea’s economy can post 3 percent growth in 2017 even if the gross domestic product contracts slightly in the fourth quarter, a Bank of Korea official told reporters on Thursday.

“Even if the economy posts negative growth, say about 0.54 percent in the fourth quarter (on-quarter), we can achieve 3 percent expansion this year,” Chung Kyu-il, director general for the Economic Statistics Department at the BOK said on the sidelines of a GDP briefing.

Chung said quarterly growth about 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter could boost annual growth to 3.2 percent, topping the central bank’s official 3 percent forecast.

South Korea’s economy grew at its fastest pace in more than seven years last quarter as robust exports offset weakness in consumption.

Responding to a question about export conditions, Chung said October’s export growth would slow from September’s level because a week-long national holiday reduced the number of working days.

Reporting by Cynthia Kim and Christine Kim; Editing by Eric Meijer

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