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South Korea's Q1 GDP up 0.3% as private consumption rebounds

South Korea's GDP rose by 0.3% in the first quarter of 2023, showing signs of recovery from the previous quarter's -0.4% contraction, fueled by an increase in private consumption as COVID-19 restrictions ease. Private consumption increased by 0.5%, with spending on services such as recreation, culture, restaurants, and accommodation leading the growth, aided by the easing of indoor mask mandates. However, net exports dragged down growth by 0.1%, the fourth consecutive quarter of contraction since the 1998-99 financial crisis. South Korea's dependence on exports poses a risk for the economy as the downward trend in exports income persists, and the Bank of Korea may have to lower the projected growth rate of 1.6% for the year.

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