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Economic recovery shows signs of delay over virus resurgence: finance ministry

SEJONG -- Economic recovery has shown signs of delay due to a resurgence in new coronavirus infections in mid-August, but the pace of decline in exports eased, the finance ministry said Friday.

In a monthly economic report, called the "Green Book," the Ministry of Economy and Finance also flagged the economy's continuing uncertainty stemming from the virus resurgence.

"Indicators of domestic consumption and employment took a turn for the worse because of a resurgence in COVID-19 and the elevated social distancing rules," the report said.

However, the report said the nation's exports showed signs of a modest recovery.

Externally, worries over a delay in global economic recovery persists due to the continued global spread of the coronavirus and escalating conflicts between major countries, despite stable financial markets and improvements in real-economy indicators.

The nation's overall industrial production fell 0.9 percent on-month in August, marking the first monthly decline in three months.

Retail sales rose 3 percent from a month earlier, and facility investment declined 4.4 percent on-month.

Production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries fell 0.7 percent on-month in August, marking the first monthly decline in three months.

In September, South Korea's exports rebounded for the first time in seven months, helped by increased shipments of chips and automobiles as major trade partners gradually resumed their business activities amid the pandemic.

Outbound shipments came to $48 billion last month, up 7.7 percent from $44.6 billion posted a year earlier. (Yonhap)