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Economic Trends
The Green Book: Current Economic Trends

Overview Manufacturing and services improved in July, as well as facility investment. Consumption and construction investment fell. Industrial production rose 1.2 percent from the previous month in July as mining manufacturing (up 0.1% up 2.6%, m-o-m) and services (down 1.1% up 1.0%, m-o-m) improved. Retail sales (down 1.6% down 0.9%, m-o-m) and construction investment (up 1.2% down 2.3%, m-o-m) went down in July. Facility investment continued to rise (up 0.4% up 2.1%, m-o-m). Exports declined 13.6 percent year-on-year in August, staying on a downward trajectory for nine months in a row, as the global semiconductor market remained weak and global economic slowdown continued. Consumer confidence fell 3.4 points to 92.5 in August. The business sentiment index (BSI) for the manufacturing sector decreased 5 points to 68, the outlook for September improving 1 point to 72. The cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index dropped 0.1 points in July to 98.4, and the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index fell 0.3 points to 97.6. The economy added 425,000 jobs year-on-year in August as service jobs continued to grow. The unemployment rate fell 1.0 percentage points to 3.0 percent. Consumer prices in August remained unchanged from the previous year as fresh food prices stayed low, as well as oil product prices. Core inflation rose 0.9 percent. In August KOSPI fell, the won weakened, and Korea treasury yields continued to drop. Housing prices continued to decline in August (down 0.05%, m-o-m), as well as Jeonse (lump-sum deposits with no monthly payments) prices (down 0.10%, m-o-m). Although the economy continued steady growth in July, exports and investment had not picked up. Uncertainties would linger as Japans trade curbs and US-China trade conflicts continue. The government will work to boost investment, consumption and exports by implementing fiscal spending as planned, as well as other economy-boosting measures. The government will also remain alert to external risks and be fully prepared. * For further details, please refer to the attached file.

Sep 2019
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