SKorea growth slows

SEOUL: South Korea's economic growth slowed in the final quarter of 2015 as a drop in construction investment outweighed an improvement in consumer spending, the country’s central bank said on Tuesday. Asia’s fourth-largest economy expanded 0.6 per cent in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter, Bank of Korea’s preliminary data showed. It was a slowdown from the 1.3 per cent growth in the third quarter. Construction investment declined six per cent, offsetting 1.5 per cent growth in consumer spending. Exports, which declined in the previous quarter, turned positive in the latest quarter, thanks to higher shipments of chemicals and mobile devices, the bank said. For the entire year, Asia’s fourth-largest economy expanded 2.6 per cent, the lowest level since 2.3 per cent growth in 2012. Growth of exports stayed nearly flat in 2015, offsetting improvements in consumer spending. Manufacturing, which is reliant on foreign demand, posted the slowest growth in six years.