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Economic Trends
Current Economic Trends

In November, industrial production and retail sales increased while services production, facility investment, and construction investment decreased. In December, job growth expanded andinflation slowed down. In November, total production grew (up 0.5% month-on-month and up 2.5% y-o-y) driven by increasedindustrial production (up 3.3% m-o-m and up 5.3% y-o-y), despite a decrease in services production (down0.1% m-o-m and up 1.9% y-o-y). In November, retail sales rose (up 1.0% m-o-m and down 0.3% y-o-y), while facility investment (down2.6% m-o-m and down 11.9% y-o-y) and construction investment (down 4.1% m-o-m and up 1.4% y-o-y)declined. In December, exports increased by 5.1 percent from a year ago, driven by increased exports ofsemiconductors, automobiles, and vessels. The daily average of exports increased by 14.5 percent from ayear ago to US $2.6 billion. In December, the Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI) rose by 2.3 points from the previous month to 99.5. TheBusiness Survey Index (BSI) remained steady at 70 from the previous month and the BSI outlook forDecember declined 1 points to 68. In November, the cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index decreased by 0.1 points from theprevious month, while the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index increased by 0.2 points. In December, the economy added 285 thousand jobs compared to the previous year and theunemployment rate rose by 0.3 percent points from a year ago to 3.3 percent. In December, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose at a slower pace, increasing by 3.2 percent from theprevious year. The index excluding food and energy prices increased by 2.8 percent, and the index excludingagricultural and petroleum products increased by 3.1 percent. The CPI for basic necessities rose by 3.7percent. In December, the Korean equity market rose for the month while treasury bond yields fell and the Wonstrengthened against the dollar amid rising expectations for an earlier rate cut by the US Fed. In December, housing prices declined (from up 0.04% to down 0.10% m-o-m), and the growth of Jeonse(lump-sum deposits with no monthly payments) prices slowed down (from up 0.27% to up 0.12% m-o-m). The signs of an upturn are gradually growing stronger for the Korean economy, mainly driven byrebounding exports, amid a sustained easing of inflationary pressures. However, the pace of theeconomys recovery differs across sectors, while concerns of weakening private consumption andconstruction investment continue to weigh on the economy. Internationally, concerns of a weak economic recovery persist despite expectations of growth in the globalIT industry. At the same time, the risk of instability stemming from geopolitical events and the supply chainremain heightened amid conflict in the Middle East and Russia-Ukraine. The government will place policy priority on the recovery of the publics livelihood, particularly for the mostvulnerable, while stabilizing prices. Policy efforts will also be made on promoting economic growth andopportunities for future generations while managing potential risks to the economy such as growingconcerns surrounding project financing in the real estate market. * For further details, please refer to the attached file.

Feb 2024
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