The South Korean economy expanded 0.6% in the second quarter from three months earlier, growing at the slowest pace in five quarters as sluggish consumption sapped growth, central bank data showed Thursday.
The quarterly growth in the country's gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of economic performance, slowed from a 0.9% on-quarter growth in the first three months of the year, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). It also marked the weakest growth since 0.6% in the first quarter of 2013.
From a year earlier, Asia's fourth-largest economy expanded 3.6% in the April-June period, weakening from a 3.9% on-year growth in the previous quarter.
The figure marks the first slowdown since the third quarter of 2012, when on-year growth slowed to 2.1% from 2.4%.
The BOK credited the second-quarter turnout to lackluster domestic demand that was hit by the mid-April Sewol ferry accident that left more than 300 people dead.
"While exports continued to grow in the second quarter, domestic demand was sluggish, with private spending shifting to a contraction," said Jung Young-taek, the director-general of the BOK's economic statistics division, noting that "sentiment is weaker than expected." In addition to the Sewol sinking, Jung said a mix of factors, such as a regulatory ban on mobile carriers, an increase in utility fees stemming from warm weather and ongoing layoffs at financial firms, hampered private spending.