Jan 25, 8:44 PM EST

South Korea's economic growth slows to 0.6 percent in final quarter of 2015


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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea's quarterly economic growth slowed to 0.6 percent in the final quarter of 2015.

Bank of Korea said Tuesday the country's economy posted a slowdown due to a sharp drop in construction investment that outweighed improvement in consumer spending and exports. In the third quarter, the economy expanded 1.3 percent from three months earlier.

For the entire year, Asia's fourth-largest economy expanded 2.6 percent over a year earlier, the lowest level since 2.3 percent growth in 2012.

Growth of exports stayed nearly flat in 2015, offsetting improvements in consumer spending. Growth in the manufacturing sector, which drives South Korea's exports, hit the slowest growth in five years.

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