S. Korea's industrial output, consumption, investment rises in March

2019-04-30 13:56

Already collect

SEOUL, April 30 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's industrial output, private consumption and corporate investment all rose last month due mainly to a so-called low base effect, a government report showed Tuesday.

The seasonally-adjusted production in all industries, which exclude the farm sectors, expanded 1.1 percent in March from a month earlier, after skidding 2.6 percent in February, according to Statistics Korea.

The month-over-month expansion was attributable to the low base effect, in which an economic indicator rebounds after falling sharply in the previous month.

Output in the mining and manufacturing sectors advanced 1.4 percent in the month, and production among services companies added 0.2 percent.

Shipment among manufacturers expanded 2.5 percent in March from a month ago owing to demand for chips and chemical products.

Production of semiconductors gained 3.6 percent in March, a rebound from the decline in the previous month.

Chip inventory tumbled 10.1 percent last month.

The statistical agency said chip demand increased on the launch of new smartphone models.

Retail sales, which reflect private consumption, gained 3.3 percent in March from a month ago, posting the biggest growth in 49 months since February 2015.

Demand got strong for air purifier and clothes dryer amid the severe air pollution by fine dust, while sales increased in cosmetics and automobiles.

Facility investment jumped 10 percent in the cited period, the fastest expansion since March 2017. It came from the solid import of airliners and the establishment of 5G networks.

Despite the March rebound in production, consumption and investment, it remained to see if the growth momentum would continue amid the weak export, which accounts for about half of the export-driven economy.

The country's export kept falling for four straight months since December last year.

To bolster the sagging economy, the government submitted a supplementary budget bill worth 6.7 trillion won (5.8 billion U.S. dollars) to the National Assembly.

The passage of the extra budget bill was widely forecast to be delayed amid the ongoing political wrangling in the parliament over the amendment of an election law, which could be enforced in general elections next April.

During the January-March quarter, the industrial production reduced 0.8 percent compared with the previous three-month period.

Output in the services industry added 0.1 percent, but production in the mining and manufacturing sectors declined 2.9 percent.

Manufacturers recorded an average capacity ratio of 71.9 percent in the March quarter, down 1.2 percentage points from three months earlier.

Retail sales grew 1.3 percent in the first quarter from the prior quarter, but facility investment shrank 5.4 percent in the three-month period.

Completed construction advanced 8.9 percent in March from a month earlier, marking the fastest expansion in 87 months since December 2011.

Construction orders expanded 18.7 percent in March from a year ago due to the contract to build an express train in the metropolitan area.

The cyclical factor for leading indicators, which gauge outlook for future economic conditions, fell 0.1 point in the month, keeping a downward trend for the 10th consecutive month.

The figure for coincident indicators also continued to slide for 12 months in a row.
Add comments

Latest comments

Latest News
News Most Viewed