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Economic growth slower than expected due to continued eurozone crisis: KDI

South Korea's economic growth slowed in March due mainly to the mining and manufacturing industry showing lackluster growth affected by the eurozone debt crisis, a state-run think tank said Sunday.

   The eurozone crisis has adversely affected South Korea's exports to slow economic growth of Asia's fourth largest economy, the Korea Development Institute report said, adding the U.S. and some other advanced economies continued modest growth.

   The mining and manufacturing industry witnessed a 0.3 percent growth in March compared with a 14.3 percent surge in the previous month, the report said.

   The comparable figure for the service industry was 1.4 percent, down from a 5.6 percent increase in February.

   The average rate of operation by the manufacturing industry stood at 78.2 percent in March, down from 81.8 percent a month earlier.

   The consumer sentiment index rose to 104 in April from 101 in March.

   The KDI report also showed that the country's trade surplus reached US$2.15 billion in April compared with $2.45 billion in the previous month.

   The country's current account surplus recorded $3.04 billion in March, a nearly five-fold increase from a month earlier, helped by surging exports and rising surplus in the service industry.

   The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was set at 3.4 percent in March, down 0.3 percentage point from a month earlier, with an increase of 419,000 new jobs.

   The inflation rate was 2.5 percent in April, down from the previous month's 2.6 percent.

   Prices of vegetables led the rise in consumer prices with an increase rate of 4.1 percent.

(Yonhap News)