South Korea’s economy expanded at 2.7 per cent in 2018, the slowest growth for six years, with weakness in exports casting a cloud over the future outlook. However, it grew at the fastest pace in three quarters in the last three months of 2018 thanks to a jump in government spending. Gross domestic product increased by a seasonally adjusted 1 per cent in the fourth quarter from three months earlier, the Bank of Korea said in a statement on Tuesday, outperforming the median forecast of 0.6 per cent, recorded in a Reuters survey. Year on year, the economy grew 3.1 per cent in the fourth quarter. This marked the fastest expansion in five quarters, beating the expectation of 2.8 per cent seen in the poll and the 2 per cent expansion in the third quarter. The annual figure reflected a global economic slowdown and South Korea’s economic exposure to China, which is embroiled in a trade war with the United States.