South Korea's economic growth for the first quarter of this year is expected to be faster than the fourth quarter of last year, fueled by robust exports, according to estimates by foreign investment banks Wednesday.
Although the nation's industrial output fell in February, foreign banks, including Barclays, HSBC and Citibank, expected production to bounce back, helped by strong exports on improved global demand.
The estimates, compiled by the Korea Center for International Finance, came as South Korea posted 13.7 percent growth in March exports.
Bank of America predicted that South Korea's export growth would lead to a recovery in industrial production and facility investment, offsetting weakness in private consumption and the construction sector.
JP Morgan expected South Korea's first-quarter economic growth to be higher than a quarter ago, led by exports.
The Bank of Korea said last week that the nation's economy grew a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent during the fourth quarter of last year, revising up an earlier estimate by 0.1 percentage point.
The revised data showed that South Korea's economy grew 2.8 percent last year. (Yonhap)