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South Korea's economic growth unexpectedly rises 2.9% in Q2

Consumption jumps as COVID restrictions eased, despite rate hike

A supermarket in Seoul. Private consumption jumped 3.0% in South Korea, the best in a year as the government eased social-distancing restrictions. (Photo by Kotaro Hosokawa)

SEOUL (Reuters) -- South Korean economic growth unexpectedly picked up in the second quarter as strong consumption on eased COVID-19 restrictions offset poor exports, supporting the case for further central bank interest rate hikes.

The Bank of Korea estimated on Tuesday gross domestic product for the April-June period rose 0.7% quarter-on-quarter, faster than the 0.6% growth in the first quarter and above a 0.4% rise tipped in a Reuters survey.

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