South Korea‘s third quarter economic growth was the second highest among the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development nations, on the back of strengthening exports, data showed Monday.
Korea’s economy grew 1.4 percent from July to September of this year compared to the previous quarter, the data showed. The figure marked the second-highest on-quarter jump among all OECD members behind Latvia, which edged out Korea at 1.5 percent.
The country’s strong economic growth last quarter is being attributed to Korea’s boisterous export market. Thanks to growing exports, the Bank of Korea previously announced that Korea’s economy is expected to experience 3 percent growth this year compared to last year.
Leading the pack in Korea’s export sector is the booming semiconductors industry, led by Samsung Electronics and SK hynix, the world’s leading chipmakers.
Industry data released in October found that semiconductors export shares accounted for more than 16 percent of Korea‘s annual exports for the year, a record high for the industry. The data also showed that chip exports reached $70.4 billion from January to September, an increase of 55.6 percent compared to last year. The figure accounts for 16.4 percent of Korea’s total exports of roughly $430.1 billion, representing the highest percentage of exports for the first time in 17 years.
Korea’s third-quarter growth is also accredited to the Moon administration’s $10 billion supplementary budget earmarked to spur fiscal growth and tackle the country’s unemployment rate with increased job creation. The government has led to an on-quarter spending gain of 2.3 percent, the highest growth in more than five years.
According to the OECD data, the average on-quarter growth rate for its member nations last quarter was 0.6 percent, a 0.8 percent decrease compared to the average growth rate of the second quarter.
Last quarter also marked the first time Korea has ranked No. 2 in the OECD’s economic growth category in seven years, since the first quarter of 2010. In 2010, Korea’s gross domestic product increased by 2.2 percent in the first quarter.
Seoul’s highest ever on-quarter GDP growth was recorded in the third quarter of 2009, when it reached 2.8 percent.