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Posted : 2012-02-23 14:30
Updated : 2012-02-23 14:30

Economic growth outpaces OECD average in 4th quarter

Korea outgrew the average economic output of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries in the final quarter of last year, data showed Thursday, showing the country's relative resilience against external economic risks.

The South Korean economy expanded 3.4 percent on-year in the October-December period, compared with an average growth of 1.3 percent of OECD member countries in the same period, data showed.

The fourth-quarter average economic growth of OECD countries was based on data from 19 member countries that have released their latest results on economic performance.

OECD member countries saw their economies expanding at the slowest pace in two years.

The 1.3 percent average growth rate was the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2009, when the OECD countries posted an average 0.7 percent contraction in their economies in the wake of the U.S.-sparked financial crisis.

Even as South Korea's economic growth slowed to a two-year low in the fourth quarter, its economic output was still the fourth-highest among the 19 member countries.

The fastest growing OECD economy in the fourth quarter was Estonia, which expanded 5.2 percent on-year. It was followed by Israel's 3.9-percent growth and Mexico's 3.7-percent expansion.

Even though South Korea posted a slower on-year growth than the previous quarter, Asia's fourth-largest economy was relatively better at coping with Europe's public debt crisis and other external uncertainties during the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, data showed that the group of seven major economies fell below the OECD average in the fourth quarter due to Europe's crisis and a fragile recovery of the U.S. economy.

The average economic growth posted by the United States, Japan, England, France, Germany, Italy and Canada stood at 1 percent in the final three months of 2011 from a year earlier.

Some advanced economies, including Portugal, Japan, Italy and the Netherlands, shrank in the fourth quarter from a year ago, hit by the deepening sovereign debt problems.

The OECD forecast the South Korean economy would expand 3.8 percent this year a from a year ago, outgrowing the global economy's 3.4 percent growth. (Yonhap)
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