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In the first quarter, South Korea's economy grew by 3,9 percent

The economy of South Korea grew in the first quarter more than forecasted, thanks to a jump in construction and exports, the BBC reported.

Asia's fourth-largest economy grew 3,9 percent from January to March compared with the same period last year. Many analysts predicted a growth of 3,7 percent. Compared with the previous quarter, the economy grew by 0,9 percent.

Analysts said the recovery in key markets such as the US has helped South Korea's export sector, one of the main engines of the economy. The trend is likely to continue with further gains in the coming months.

“The recovery in advanced economies is expected to occur faster, leading to increased exports, which will also affect domestic spending,” said Im No-jung, chief economist at IM Investment & Securities. "Based on the available data, growth will pick up momentum in the second half of the year and the economy could grow by about 4,1 percent this year."

According to the latest data of the Bank of Korea, exports increased by 1,7 percent compared to the previous quarter. Meanwhile, investments in construction rose by 4,8 percent in the first quarter compared to the previous three months. In October-December last year, there was a decline in 5,2 percent.

Some analysts also believe that higher than expected growth rates may force the central bank to raise interest rates later this year.

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