South Korea\'s economy grew at the fastest pace for a year on a quarterly basis in January-March due to strong industrial output, the central bank said Thursday. A rise in demand and strong government spending also helped offset softness in the construction and agricultural sectors. Gross domestic product rose 0.9 percent in the first quarter from October-December 2011, when the economy had grown 0.3 percent from July-September. It was the highest quarter-on-quarter figure since 1.3 percent in January-March 2011. The faster growth was partly due to a low base of comparison in the fourth quarter of 2011, when the economy slowed sharply amid weaker global demand. Year-on-year GDP expanded 2.8 percent, the slowest on-year growth rate for two and a half years. The figures were largely in line with market expectations. A poll of nine economists by Dow Jones Newswires tipped a 0.8 percent quarter-on-quarter rise and a 2.9 percent year-on-year expansion. The export-dominated economy expects a continued slowdown in European demand. The finance ministry has said it would heavily front-load this year\'s budget spending in the first half. Analysts expect growth to slow in the current quarter, although a contraction is unlikely.