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S. Korea's industrial output grows 1.8 pct on-month in Oct.

South Korea's industrial output grew at the fastest pace in 11 months in October, raising hopes that the economy might be picking up its recovery momentum, a government report showed Friday.

According to the report by Statistics Korea, production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries gained 1.8 percent last month from a month earlier.

This marked the fastest growth since November of last year when it increased 2.1 percent. It also represented a turnaround from a revised 2.3 percent shrinkage in September.

Service sector production inched up 0.4 percent on-month in October and rose 2.7 percent compared with a year earlier, the report showed.

The report attributed the October growth in output to robust business activity in the manufacturing sector.

The manufacturing output rose 2 percent on-month in October, a stark contrast to a 2.5 percent decline tallied in the previous month, when labor disputes at automobile makers disrupted production.

The average facility operating ratio in the manufacturing sector also rose to 75.6 percent in October from a revised 73.4 percent in September.

Private-sector spending and corporate investment both declined, pointing to anemic consumer and business sentiment.

Retail sales rose 1.3 percent in October from a month earlier, turning around from a revised 1.9 percent decline in September.

Corporate investment also rebounded sharply. The report showed that companies' facility investment jumped 19.3 percent on-month in October, compared with a 4 percent contraction in September. It also rose 14.2 percent from a year earlier.

The latest output data comes amid expectations that the country's economy is showing some signs of picking up following a prolonged slow growth trend.

The country's gross domestic product grew 1.1 percent in the third quarter from three months earlier. This marked the fastest quarterly growth since a 1.3 percent on-quarter advance in the first quarter of 2011.

In unveiling its 2014 budget proposal, the government forecast that the economy will grow 2.7 percent this year and 3.9 percent next year.

Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok earlier said that he will focus on creating jobs and boosting the economy in drawing up its economy-management plan for next year, which is to be unveiled in mid-December.

He added that the government will work hard to achieve a faster economic growth than the global average for next year, suggesting that it is aiming for a higher growth rate than earlier expected. (Yonhap News)