South Korea's growth slows on weak consumption

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's economic growth has hit its lowest level in three quarters.

The Bank of Korea said Thursday that growth in Asia's fourth-largest economy slowed to 3.6 percent during the April-June period over a year earlier, after expanding 3.9 percent during the first quarter.

From the previous quarter, it expanded 0.6 percent, the slowest pace in more than a year.

The central bank said even though exports continued solid growth, consumer spending turned negative.

Earlier this month, the bank reduced its forecast for economic growth this year to 3.8 percent from 4.0 percent, citing a deadly ferry sinking in the spring that dented consumption.

The April 16 ferry disaster that killed 294 people and left 10 missing shocked South Koreans and left the country in grief for weeks.