South Korea’s industrial output shrinks in October


Seoul : South Korea’s industrial output contracted last month amid lingering uncertainties surrounding Europe’s debt crisis and the possible global economic slowdown, a government report showed Wednesday.

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Output in mining, manufacturing and electricity and gas sectors decreased 0.7 percent in October from a month earlier after rebounding in three months in September, according to the report by Statistics Korea.

From a year earlier, the industrial production expanded 6.2 percent in October, marking the 28th straight month of on-year growth, but the output growth was lower than the 6.9 percent on-year expansion tallied in September, reported Xinhua.

The October on-month contraction came as weak demand for automobiles and audio and video equipments outweighed strong performance in chips and parts and chemical products, according to the report.

Production in chips and parts and chemical products grew 1.2 percent and 3.1 percent on-month each in October, but the output in autos and audio and video equipment shrank 3 percent and 4.3 percent respectively.

Shipment in the mining firms and manufacturers dropped 1.7 percent on-month in October, while inventory in the sector grew 3.2 percent over the same period.

Local manufacturers operated at an average capacity of 79.5 percent last month, down 1.8 percentage point from the previous month. The factory utilisation rate stood at 79.7 percent a year earlier.

Meanwhile, production in the service industry increased 0.7 percent on-month in October due to upswings in wholesale and retail, finance and insurance and publication and broadcasting sectors, according to the report.

Retail sales posted a 0.6 percent on-month expansion last month as outperformance in non-durable goods such as food and beverages outweighed weak sales of durables and semi-durables.

The leading index of economic indicators, which gauges business activities eight to 15 months ahead, rose one percent on-year in October, down 0.4 percentage point from the previous month. The coincident index, measuring current economic conditions, was down 0.3 point last month from a month before.