South Korea’s industrial output, private consumption and facility investment rebounded last month, marking the first time in nine months that the three indicators went up together, a government report showed on Friday, reports BSS/Xinhua.
Output in all industries rose 0.4 percent in October from a month earlier, after declining 1.2 percent in the previous month, according to Statistics Korea.
Production in the mining and manufacturing sectors gained 1 percent. Output in the metal-processing and transport equipment sectors advanced 6.4 percent and 8.0 percent, respectively, offsetting a production fall in the automobile industry.
Output in the services industry added 0.3 percent, posting the fastest increase in seven months. The figures in the finance and insurance and the science and technology sectors expanded 1.6 percent and 2.7 percent each, offsetting a reduction in the social welfare and health sector.
Inventory among manufacturers increased 0.6 percent in October from a month earlier. Manufacturers recorded an average capacity ratio of 74 percent last month, up 0.2 percentage points from the prior month.
Retail sales, which reflect private consumption, went up 0.2 percent in October from a month year, after sliding 2.1 percent in September.
Demand for non-durable goods such as good and beverage fell 0.6 percent, but sales of durables, including cars, advanced 1.7 percent. Sales of semi- durable goods like clothing also rose 0.4 percent.
Facility investment picked up 1.9 percent last month, keeping an upward momentum for two straight months. Before turning upward, the facility investment fell for six months through August.
Investment in transport equipment grew 10 percent in October, offsetting a 0.9 percent fall in machinery investment.
The indicators for output, consumption and investment all gained ground last month, but concerns remained about economic downturn as the indicators showed volatility in recent months.
The Bank of Korea (BOK) raised its benchmark interest rate from 1.50 percent to 1.75 percent earlier in the day, the first rate hike in 12 months.
The BOK’s next rate increase, however, was expected to come late amid the lingering external uncertainties such as trade conflict among major economies and the higher global crude oil price.
The tightened monetary policy stance would increase debt-servicing burden for households, which had rushed to purchase new home with borrowed money. Household debts topped 1,500 trillion won (1.34 trillion U.S. dollars).
Completed construction declined in October, reflecting a slump in the real estate market following the government’s measures to control speculative property investment.
The cyclical factor for leading indicators, which reflects outlook for future economic conditions, fell 0.4 points over the month to 98.8 in October. It was the lowest in about nine years.
The figure for coincident indicators dipped 0.2 points to 98.4 last month, marking the lowest in around nine years.