June industrial production posted slower than expected growth of 0.7 percent, a government report said Friday.
Output in the construction, service, mining and manufacturing sectors expanded by 6.4 percent from a year ago, down from a revised 8.1 percent growth forecast in March, Statistics Korea said. The 0.7 percent on-month expansion is the slowest output growth in nine months, and a slow down from 1.6 percent growth in May.
“The figure for June is comparatively slower because growth at this time of the year 2010 was particularly strong. It’s important to note that the industrial production has been growing for the 24th straight month,” Jeon Baek-geun, director of the agency’s industrial statistics division said.
The slower output came after Asia’s fourth-largest economy posted the slowest growth in six months for the second quarter on steep decline in inventory amid a drop in demand in major economies. Gross domestic product growth for the second quarter was 0.8 percent, down from a 1.3 percent expansion in January-March, Bank of Korea data said.
The automobile, semiconductor and retail sectors led the overall growth. Car production jumped 17 percent from a year ago from stronger global demand. Semiconductors and parts makers grew 12.8 percent in the same period, the report said.
The Finance Ministry said there was a need to tighten monitoring of economic conditions as manufacturers and other major exporters could see sales drop from softening demand abroad.
“Leading economic composite indexes has been falling in major Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development nations so we need to monitor for slower business recovery abroad,” an official said.
“But mining and manufacturing sectors are expected to post continued growth unless external conditions worsen significantly,” he added.
By Cynthia J. Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)