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Economic Trends
The Green Book: Current Economic Trends

Overview Industrial activities improved for the second consecutive month in April. Facility investment improved, but construction investment and consumption fell. Employment continued to rise in May and consumer prices remained stable. Industrial production rose 0.7 percent in April as mining and manufacturing (up 2.1% up 1.6%, m-o-m) and service output (up 0.5% up 0.3%, m-o-m) improved. Retail sales (up 3.5% down 1.2%, m-o-m) and construction investment (up 8.9% down 2.8%, m-o-m) fell in April. Facility investment continued to rise (up 10.1% up 4.6%, m-o-m). Exports declined 9.4 percent year-on-year in May, falling for a sixth consecutive month, due to weak global demand as well as low semiconductor prices. Consumer confidence fell 3.7 points in May to 97.9, and business confidence rose 1.0 points to 76.0. Business confidence index for the next month declined 2.0 points to 75. The cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index remained unchanged in April at 98.5, as well as the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index at 98.2. The economy added 259,000 jobs year-on-year in May, despite weak manufacturing, as service jobs grew fast. The unemployment rate remained unchanged from a year ago at 4.0 percent. Consumer prices continued to be stable in May, rising 0.7 percent year-onyear, backed by the low prices of services and oil products. In May KOSPI and Korea treasury yields went down, and the won weakened. KOSPI and the won recovered somewhat into June. Housing prices continued to decline in May (down 0.16%, m-o-m), along with Jeonse (lump-sum deposits with no monthly payments) prices (down 0.22%, m-o-m). Housing transactions continued to fall. Industrial activities have improved recently, but exports and investment remain weak. Uncertainties have been rising amid slowing global demands, including the demand for semiconductors, and trade tensions are mounting between the US and China. The government will strengthen its risk management and get ready for the spending of the supplementary budget as soon as it is approved by the National Assembly. The 2019 economic policies for the second half will contain measures to boost the economy by promoting investment, exports and consumption. * For further details, please refer to the attached file.

Jun 2019
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