South Korea's economy widened at a slower pace in the third quarter as companies cut their spending on concern that Europe's debt crisis and a faltering U.S. economy will hurt business.

South Korea's GDP preliminary reading expanded by 0.7% during the third quarter, which compared with a previous expansion of 0.9% in the second quarter, and the actual reading came better than analysts' forecasts that referred to 0.6%.

Moreover, South Korea's annualized GDP reading widened to 3.4% in the quarter through September, while the actual reading came compatible with both the prior reading and the market's expectations.