A port in Busan, the Republic of Korea (Photo: EPA/VNA)

Seoul (VNA) – The economy of the Republic of Korea is expected to grow 2.8 percent this year, as exports are likely to lose steam amid weaker private consumption, according to a private research institute.

The forecast by the LG Economic Research Institute (LGERI) is lower than the 3 percent projection set in January by the Bank of Korea, Yonhap news agency reported.

Helped by the government's stimulus spending, the nation's economy expanded 1.1 percent on a quarterly basis in the first quarter of this year. It marked a rebound from a 0.2 percent contraction a quarter earlier.

The economy is unlikely to grow more than 1 percent from the second quarter of this year, as the semiconductor boom, which has driven up the RoK's exports, is coming to an end, Yonhap quoted the LGERI as saying.

Data showed the nation's exports fell in April, marking the first decline in 18 months.

Outbound shipments reached 50.06 billion USD last month, down from 50.84 billion USD a year ago, according to the data compiled by the RoK Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. Imports surged 14.5 percent on-year to 43.45 billion USD.- VNA