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South Korea cuts growth outlook as exports lose steam

Slowdown compounds Moon's headaches as hopes for North Korea progress fade

South Korean President Moon Jae-in visits a plant in the struggling southeastern region of Yeongnam.

SEOUL -- The South Korean government on Monday downgraded its economic growth estimate for this year as capital spending and exports lose momentum amid the U.S.-China trade war, adding to the woes of a president already struggling with falling public support.

Gross domestic product is now seen expanding between 2.6% and 2.7% in 2018 -- less than the previously forecast 2.9% -- and by around the same rate in 2019. Corporate investment dropped sharply in the second half, with the July-September number down 7.4% on the year, while exports grew just 1.7%.

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