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S. Korea’s industrial output recovers in June

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)
South Korea’s industrial output gained 4.2 percent on-month in June, showing signs of recovery from the contractions prompted by the coronavirus pandemic in recent months, data from Statistics Korea showed Friday.

Along with industrial output -- which had rebounded from a 1.2 percent on-month drop in May and a consistent five-month slide -- retail sales and facility investment inched up 2.4 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively, in the same period. This put the key indicators of the nation’s industrial activity back on track, reflecting their first simultaneous gain in six months.

Production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries increased 7.2 percent on-month, marking the largest gain since February 2009 with 7.3 percent.

The output of automobiles and semiconductors, the two main export items here, jumped 22 percent and 3.8 percent on-month, respectively, last month.

A Statistics Korea official expressed hopes of a “fast recovery” from the economic fallout from COVID-19, saying the nation’s services output and retail sales had increased after April. On top of that, “the output of the manufacturing sector has rebounded from the contraction it faced in April and May, turning around from the sluggish exports caused by the pandemic situation overseas toward recovery in outbound shipments,” said Ahn Hyung-joon of Statistics Korea.

Korea’s economy contracted 3.3 percent on-quarter during the April-June period, the steepest decline since the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the Bank of Korea recently said. Exports, the nation’s biggest growth engine, plunged 16.6 percent in the second quarter, the sharpest contraction since 1963.

By Jung Min-kyung (mkjung@heraldcorp.com)
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