Growth in Korea’s labor productivity in the manufacturing sector slowed in the fourth quarter of 2010 due to weaker private consumption and business investments, a government report showed Thursday.
According to the report by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, the labor productivity index in the three month period gained just 3.3 percent on-year to 137.0, marking the third straight quarter of slowed growth.
Productivity jumped 18.9 percent on-year in the first quarter, but fell to 12.7 percent and 8.2 percent in the second and third quarters, respectively.
“The slowdown resulted from a steady rise in labor input and weaker consumption and investments that affected production,” a ministry official said.
Labor productivity is measured by dividing total industrial output with total labor input during a given period of time.
The report also said the service sector labor productivity contracted 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.
For the whole year, however, manufacturing labor productivity rose 10.3 percent on-year to 137.0 with the service sector number moving up 2.9 percent to 111.1.
The ministry said the overall increase was fueled by the fast pace of the economic recovery, growth in manufacturing sector output and strong exports.
Korea’s economy grew by 6.1 percent last year with its industrial output surging 16.5 percent on-year. The country’s exports soared 28.3 percent on-year to a record $466.4, with its trade surplus topping $41.2 billion.