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South Korea Q2 GDP more than halves from Q1, weaker than expected

Pedestrians cross a road in front of the Bank of Korea headquarters in Seoul, South Korea.

[SEOUL] South Korea's economy grew just 0.3 per cent in April-June over the previous quarter, the central bank estimated on Thursday, the slowest in two quarters with consumption battered by an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

It follows 0.8 per cent growth for the first quarter and marks the weakest since a 0.3 per cent gain in the last quarter of 2014. It was also slightly below a 0.4 per cent gain tipped in a Reuters survey of 20 analysts on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The Bank of Korea estimates showed private consumption fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent in the second quarter after rising 0.6 per cent in the January-March period. Capital investment notched a 0.4 per cent gain after a 0.2 per cent rise.

Asia's fourth-largest economy, which relies heavily on exports, has been suffering from poor global demand as well as sluggish consumption brought on by the spread of Mers, which led to massive travel cancellations especially by foreign tourists.

The economy expanded 2.2 per cent in the June quarter from a year earlier, compared with a median 2.3 per cent forecast in the Reuters poll and 2.5 per cent growth in the first quarter.