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S. Korea's industrial output rebounds in June


SEJONG -- South Korea's industrial output rebounded in June, possibly indicating that the nation's economy hit bottom amid the coronavirus pandemic, data showed Friday.

The nation's overall industrial production gained 4.2 percent on-month in June, following a 1.2 percent on-month decline in May, according to data compiled by Statistics Korea.

Compared with a year earlier, overall industrial production also rose 0.7 percent in June.

Retail sales rose 2.4 percent from a month earlier as the nation eased strict social distancing rules, and facility investment gained 5.4 percent on-month.

Production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries jumped 7.2 percent on month in June, marking the sharpest monthly growth since February 2009.

Sales of durable goods, such as cars, gained 4.1 percent, and those of nondurable ones, such as cosmetics, edged up 0.4 percent, the data showed.

Production of chips rose 3.3 percent on-month in June, and auto output soared 35.7 percent last month.

Vice Finance Minister Kim Yong-beom told reporters that the June data showed a "clear sign of recovery."

"The possibility of an economic rebound in the third quarter becomes clearer," Kim said.

The so-called cyclical component of the composite leading index, which predicts the turning point in business cycles, rose by 0.4 point on-month to 96.7, marking the first gain in five months.

South Korea entered a technical recession, with the economy contracting 3.3 percent, in the second quarter. In the first quarter, the economy shrank 1.3 percent on-quarter. (Yonhap)