- The Green Book: Current Economic Trends
Mining and manufacturing, retail sales, facilities investment and construction investment improved in December 2020. Services slowed somewhat.
Industrial production rose 1.4 percent from the previous month in December due to strong mining and manufacturing (up 3.5%, m-o-m and up 4.2%, y-o-y). Services edged down (down 0.1%, m-o-m and up 2.8%, y-o-y). Industrial production rose 3.2 percent year on year.
Retail sales (up 0.3%, m-o-m and up 4.6%, y-o-y), facilities investment (up 10.9%, m-o-m and up 11.1%, y-o-y) and construction investment (up 4.1%, m-o-m and down 2.1%, y-o-y) all improved from the previous month in December.
Exports continued to decline in January 2020, going down 6.1 percent year-on-year. The decline, however, was due to fewer days worked (2.5 days). Average daily exports, an indicator calculated according to the days worked, improved (US $1.92 billion (Jan 2019) → US $2.02 billion (Jan 2020).
The consumer sentiment index (CSI) rose 3.7 points in January 2020 to 104.2. The business sentiment index (BSI) for the manufacturing sector increased 2 points to 76, the outlook for February improving 4 points to 77.
The cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index in December improved 0.2 points to 99.5, and the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index rose 0.4 points to 99.6.
The economy added 568,000 jobs year-on-year in January 2020 backed by the service sector. The unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points from a year ago to 4.1 percent.
Consumer prices rose 1.5 percent year-on-year in January 2020. Fresh food prices turned to an increase, petroleum prices staying on an upward track. Core inflation rose 0.9 percent.
KOSPI fell in January 2020. The won weakened and Korea treasury yields declined.
In January 2020, housing prices continued to rise (up 0.38% → up 0.28%, m-o-m), as well as Jeonse (lump-sum deposits with no monthly payments) prices (up 0.22% → up 0.28%, m-o-m).
The economy has been recovering. Production, consumption and facilities investment rose in the fourth quarter of 2019, and the cyclical indicators of both the coincident composite and leading composite indexes improved in December.
Although there are signs of global economic recovery, such as rising DRAM contract prices in January, uncertainties remain in the economy as to how COVID-19 will influence the global economy, including the Chinese economy.
The government will continue to work to thoroughly control the disease and provide support for businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The government will work to successfully implement measures planned in the 2020 economic policies, those aimed at the economy’s gaining recovery momentum through increased investment, consumption and exports.
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