The Korea Herald


Industrial output rises 2.2% in August on chip recovery

By Yonhap

Published : Oct. 4, 2023 - 09:51

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Containers at Busan's Shinseondae Port on Sept. 21 (Yonhap) Containers at Busan's Shinseondae Port on Sept. 21 (Yonhap)

South Korea's industrial output rebounded in August from a month earlier on the back of a robust recovery in the chip sector, data showed Wednesday.

The industrial output advanced 2.2 percent in August from the previous month, after slipping 0.8 percent in July, according to Statistics Korea.

It was the sharpest growth since a 2.3 percent rise tallied in February 2021.

The rebound came after the country's industrial output, retail sales and facility investment all lost ground at the same time in July for the first time since January.

The output in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries gained 5.5 percent on the back of the robust performance of the chip sector, which rose 13.4 percent over the period.

In September, exports of semiconductors, the country's key export item, fell for the 14th month in a row to $9.94 billion. But global chip sales have shown signs of recovery in recent months, and September saw the highest monthly export value so far this year, according to the trade ministry.

The output from electric components, on the other hand, moved down 3.8 percent on-month in August.

The service sector saw its output edge up 0.3 percent on the back of the arts, sports and leisure industries, which advanced 6.2 percent.

Retail sales, a gauge of private spending, fell 0.3 percent over the period due to weak demand for durable goods, such as automobiles, which slipped 1.1 percent.

"Retail sales fell slightly due to the lower number of imported cars sold," an official from the agency said.

The demand for semidurable goods, including clothes, also fell 0.6 percent on-month in August, the data showed.

Facility investment, on the other hand, jumped 3.6 percent. The rise was driven by the shipbuilding industry, which advanced 13.1 percent, with the machine sector also posting a 0.6 percent increase.

The finance ministry said it will remain vigilant over global uncertainties, including the rise in oil prices and the prolonged global monetary tightening moves.

"In terms of consumption and investment, the robust job market, accumulated household savings and the persistent demand for investment in cutting-edge sectors are some of the positive factors," the finance ministry said.

"However, the slump in the construction orders, along with household debts, are some of the risks." (Yonhap)