Seoul: South Korea's economy is likely to witness a growth of around 4.3 percent this year ahead of strong exports and domestic consumption, according to a research institute.

Asia's fourth-largest economy is forecast to expand 3.7 percent in the first half of the year on Thursday, and grow 4.7 percent in the second half, the Samsung Economic Research Institute (SERI) said.

The economic growth estimate is a bit lower than the 4.5 percent expansion forecast by the Bank of Korea.

"Uncertainties such as the earthquake in Japan and rising inflation could pose threats to the economic growth," it said. "However, a recovery in the global economy will help the economy expand in the 4 percent range this year." The global economy is forecast to grow 4 percent this year, the research institute said.

Consumer prices in South Korea are expected to increase 4.1 percent this year as rising costs of raw materials and hikes in public services push up inflation, it said.

The unemployment rate is expected to stand at 3.8 percent in the first half but will slip to 3.6 percent in the second half, the SERI said.

(Agencies)