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Economic Trends
Current Economic Trends

In March, retail sales rose while industrial production, services production, facilities investment, andconstruction investment dropped. In April, job growth improved and consumer prices grew slowerthan the previous month. In March, total production fell (down 2.1% month-on-month and up 0.7% y-o-y), driven by decreases inindustrial production (down 3.2% m-o-m and up 0.7% y-o-y), construction production (down 8.7% m-o-mand down 2.1% y-o-y) and services production (down 0.8% m-o-m and up 1.0% y-o-y). In March, retail sales (up 1.6% m-o-m and down 2.7% y-o-y) increased, while facility investment (down6.6% m-o-m and down 4.8% y-o-y) and construction investment (down 8.7 % m-o-m and down 2.1%y-o-y) decreased. In April, exports increased by 13.8 percent from a year ago, driven by increased exports of semiconductorsand automobiles. The daily average of exports increased by 11.3 percent from a year ago. In April, the Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI) remained steady from the previous month at 100.7. TheBusiness Survey Index (BSI) increased by 2 point to 71 and the BSI outlook for May increased by 2 point to73. In March, the cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index decreased by 0.3 points from the previousmonth, and the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index decreased by 0.2 point. In April, the economy added 261,000 jobs compared to the previous year and the unemployment rate roseby 0.2 percentage point from a year ago to 3.0 percent. In April, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose at a slower pace, increasing by 2.9 percent from the previousyear. The index excluding food and energy prices increased by 2.3 percent, and the index excludingagricultural and petroleum products increased by 2.2 percent. The CPI for basic necessities rose by 3.5percent. In April, Korean Treasury Bond yields rose and the Korean Won weakened against the dollar due to growingexpectations that the US Fed will likely delay interest rate cuts. Korean equity markets also declined onrising risk aversion sentiment amid tensions in the Middle East. In April, housing prices continued to decline (down 0.05% m-o-m), while Jeonse (lump-sum deposits withno monthly payments) prices rose (up 0.07% m-o-m). With recent signs of inflation moderating, the Korean economys recovery gained further momentumas seen by a rebound in several domestic economic indicators including increased inbound tourism,improvement of service and manufacturing sectors, and growth of exports. The global economy is showing an overall recovery trend, mainly driven by the upturn in manufacturingactivity and trade. However, the pace of recovery differs across regions, while uncertainties still persist dueto geopolitical risks such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict and instability in the Middle East, resulting incommodity price volatility. The government will place priority on stabilizing the livelihoods of Koreans by promoting price stability andeconomic recovery, and revitalizing domestic demand. Moreover, the government will seek to proactivelymanage potential risks and strengthen the Korean economys dynamism. * For further details, please refer to the attached file.

Jun 2024
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