The Korea Herald


Industrial output, consumption, investment rise for 2nd month in June

By Yonhap

Published : July 28, 2023 - 09:39

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A Statistics Korea official holds a briefing on South Korea's monthly industrial output report in the central city of Sejong on Friday. (Yonhap) A Statistics Korea official holds a briefing on South Korea's monthly industrial output report in the central city of Sejong on Friday. (Yonhap)

South Korea's industrial output, private spending and investment rose for a second consecutive month in June amid an economic slowdown, data showed Friday.

The country's industrial output increased 0.1 percent in June from a month earlier, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

But the June growth slowed from a 1.1 percent on-month rise tallied in May.

The output in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries decreased 1 percent due to a slump in the automobile industry, which fell 12.9 percent.

The decrease, however, was limited on the back of increased output in the semiconductor industry, the backbone of Asia's No. 4 economy, which increased 3.6 percent, the data showed.

The inventory of semiconductor products moved down 12.3 percent on-month in June, with their shipments advancing 41.1 percent, the data also showed.

In June, exports of chips reached $8.9 billion, the highest monthly figure so far for 2023.

The service output added 0.5 percent on-month in June on the back of the finance and insurance sector, although the health care and social welfare sector saw its output fall 1.4 percent.

Retail sales, a gauge of private spending, increased 1 percent over the period, as people spent more on durable goods, including eco-friendly automobiles, with the segment rising 4.7 percent.

Facility investment also climbed 0.2 percent on gains in the automobile sector, according to the data.

"(The latest data) has reaffirmed the recovery trend in the GDP during the second quarter announced this week," First Vice Finance Minister Bang Ki-sun said during a meeting with related ministries.

Earlier this week, the Bank of Korea said South Korea's real gross domestic product -- a key measure of economic growth -- increased 0.6 percent on-quarter in the April-June period, accelerating from a 0.3 percent expansion in the first quarter.

"While conditions for the real economy remain challenging, the downward risks have been easing to some extent. But uncertainties also linger," the Ministry of Economy and Finance said in a separate report.

The finance ministry said that although the easing inflation is a positive development, the uncertainties in the semiconductor and construction industries pose a significant threat. The country's household debt may also exert further pressure on the economy, it added.

The country's consumer price growth slowed for the fifth straight month in June by advancing 2.7 percent, falling below 3 percent for the first time in 21 months. (Yonhap)