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Industrial output fell 1.1% in Oct.

Dec 01,2017
Korea’s industrial output dipped in October from a month earlier, ending three straight months of rises on a slump in the auto-making industry, government data showed Thursday.

Production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries dropped 1.1 percent on-month in October, following an adjusted 0.2 percent rise the previous month, according to the data by Statistics Korea.

From a year earlier, industrial output also sank 5.9 percent last month, a turnaround from an 8.5 percent on-month rise in September.

The service sector also shed 1.7 percent on-month, with a 0.2 percent on-year fall.

Retail sales dipped 2.9 percent on-month, turning around from a 3.1 percent gain in September.

For all industries, production declined 1.5 percent on-month, with a 2.2 percent on-year dip, the data showed.

“Due to a base effect, October’s figures were not good,” said Eo Woon-sun, director of the industrial statistics division at Statistics Korea. “We judge that it is a brief adjustment, which means the trend will continue.”

The statistics office said a downturn in car production stemming from sluggish exports contributed to the slump in the October figures.

Production of vehicles dipped 11.3 percent last month from a month earlier, swinging from a 4 percent rise the previous month.

Corporate investment was also poor last month, as investment for machinery and transportation equipment plunged 14.4 percent, also shifting from a 5.3 percent on-month rise the previous month.

In addition, private consumption joined the downside cycle as many people made purchases ahead of the long Chuseok holiday in October.

The data came amid expectations that Korea’s economic growth will hit 3 percent this year.

The Korean government and the central bank both had a growth forecast of 3.0 percent for 2017, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also expected the nation’s economy to grow by the same amount.

This week, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) revised its growth forecast for Asia’s fourth-largest economy to 3.0 percent from the 2.8 percent set six months earlier, citing improving exports and corporate investment.

The figures came ahead of the Bank of Korea’s rate-setting meeting later in the day, with the central bank expected to raise its policy rate by at least 0.25 of a percentage point for the first time in more than six years, amid clear signs of an economic recovery.


YONHAP