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Service output in 15 provinces, cities falls in Q4 amid pandemicBy Yonhap
Published : Feb. 9, 2021 - 13:08
Except for Seoul, six cities and nine provinces posted an on-year fall in service output in the October-December period, according to Statistics Korea.
Service output in Seoul -- home to about one-fifth of the country's 51.6 million population -- rose 0.9 percent on-year in the fourth quarter, backed by robust gains in the financial and property sectors amid skyrocketing stock and housing prices.
Incheon, west of Seoul, suffered the biggest setback by posting an 11.5 percent on-year fall in service output. The southern resort island of Jeju logged a 9.4 percent decline.
The country's service sector was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic as people refrained from visiting shops to avoid infection risks.
For all of 2020, combined service output fell in 15 provinces and major cities, excluding Seoul.
Retail sales fell in 13 provinces and cities in the fourth quarter amid the country's tougher social distancing rules over the virus, the data showed.
Jeju Island suffered the biggest fall in retail sales with a 32.7 percent on-year decline mainly because demand for products at duty-free shops was dented by the pandemic.
Service output in Seoul and Incheon also fell 11.7 percent and 10.2 percent on-year, respectively, in the fourth quarter.
On Dec. 8, South Korea tightened its social distancing rules to Level 2.5, the second highest, in the Seoul metropolitan area, home to half of its total population, and to Level 2 in the rest of the country.
For the whole of last year, retail sales declined in eight provinces and cities, led by Jeju Island, the data showed. (Yonhap)
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