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Alarm Sounds for World Growth as Bellwether Economy Contracts

  • Korean GDP shrinks by the most in a decade amid tech slowdown
  • Japan’s central bank adds to somber tone with downbeat outlook
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South Korea’s Economy Unexpectedly Contracts
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South Korea, a bellwether for global trade and technology, cast doubt over hopes for a quick rebound in the world economy by reporting its biggest contraction of gross domestic product in a decade.

Asia’s fourth-largest economy shrank by 0.3 percent in the first quarter from the previous three months, versus estimates for a 0.3 percent gain. That’s a big worry for other manufacturing and technology-driven exporters, including Japan, Germany and Taiwan. A separate report showed global trade volumes are falling at the fastest pace in a decade.