Amid supply chain disruptions and the COVID-19 pandemic, South Korea's economy in the third quarter grew at a slower pace than the quarter before.
The Bank of Korea said Thursday that the country's gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, grew zero.three percent in the third quarter compared to the second quarter.
Growth in the July to September period slowed from the point-eight percent growth recorded in the second quarter.
It also fell short of the market expectation of point-five percent.
Exports, which are the key driver of the economy rose by one.eight percent on-quarter led by coal and petroleum products and machineries.
Government consumption also climbed by one.three percent.
However, private consumption decreased by point-two percent mainly due to pandemic-hit industries like restaurants, lodging and entertainment.
Investment in construction and equipment also fell because of supply disruptions.
The central bank has maintained its 2021 growth outlook at 4 percent, remaining unchanged from its August projection.
In order to achieve the government's goal of 4 percent economic growth this year, the South Korean economy must grow by 1 percent or more in the fourth quarter.
"There are not many indicators for the fourth quarter out at the moment but when looking at consumption-related figures, consumer sentiment has gone up and credit card consumption is continuing to show high increases. This can be attributed to the gradual easing of social distancing measures. Exports are also showing high increases for October as well as November."
But an expert says reaching the target will not be easy.
"I think that will be very difficult because consumption has not been picking up and imports have been rising, also because of the increasing number of coronavirus infections as well as the increasing number of serious cases."
He added that consumption may not recover quickly due to concerns over the Omicon variant.
Eum Ji-young, Arirang News.