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South Korea's 2018 GDP growth slows to 6-yr low, trade woes dim outlook

South Korean exports fell 2.2% on the quarter in the last three months of 2018, stoking concern about the trade-reliant economy.   © Reuters

SEOUL (Reuters) -- A surge in government spending boosted South Korea's economy in the fourth quarter but weakening exports braked last year's annual pace of growth to a six-year low, underlining a dimming outlook in the face of a slowdown in key trade partner China.

Tuesday's Bank of Korea GDP report showed growth of 1 percent in the fourth quarter, the fastest in three quarters as the economy rode a spurt in government stimulus. Seoul increased spending by 3.1 percent on-quarter, the biggest rise in almost nine years and helped boost construction and capital investment.

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