- The Green Book: Current Economic Trends
Production indicators, as well as expenditure indicators, improved in September. Unemployment remained weak.
Industrial production rose 2.3 percent from the previous month in September. Mining and manufacturing increased (up 5.4%, m-o-m and up 8.0%, y-o-y), as well as services output (up 0.3%, m-o-m and up 0.0%, y-o-y). Industrial production improved 3.4 percent year on year.
Retail sales (up 1.7%, m-o-m and up 4.4%, y-o-y) rose. Facilities investment (up 7.4%, m-o-m and up 16.8%, y-o-y) and completed construction works (up 6.4%, m-o-m and up 6.3%, y-o-y) went up.
Exports declined 3.6 percent year-on-year in October due to fewer days worked (2 days). Average daily exports, an indicator calculated according to the days worked, went up 5.6 percent from a year ago (US $2.03 billion (October 2019) → US $2.14 billion (October 2020)).
The consumer sentiment index (CSI) jumped by 12.2 points in October to 91.6. The business sentiment index (BSI) for the manufacturing sector rose 11 points to 79, and the BSI outlook for November went up 8 points to 76.
The cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index for September increased 0.3 points to 97.9, and the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index rose 0.4 points to 101.3.
The economy lost 421,000 jobs year-on-year in October, and the unemployment rate rose 0.7 percentage points from a year ago to 3.7 percent.
Consumer prices rose 0.1 percent from a year ago in October as government support for cell phone service fees brought down public service prices. Core inflation rose 0.1 percent.
KOSPI struggled in October amid growing concerns over the resurging virus in major economies. The won strengthened due to a strong yuan and Korea treasury yields increased in line with rising market interest rates.
Home price growth continued to slow down in October (up 0.42% → up 0.32%, m-o-m), and Jeonse (lump-sum deposits with no monthly payments) prices rose at a slower rate (up 0.53% → up 0.47%, m-o-m).
Although the economy has seen exports and production improving, as well as consumption and investment, services and employment remain weak and there are uncertainties over coronavirus resurging in major economies.
Worries continue as to whether the virus resurgence and subsequent lockdowns in global economies would lead to slowing recovery, but at the same time expectations soar for COVID-19 vaccines.
The government will continue with its disease prevention efforts, while working to help the economy recover, such as by properly managing fiscal resources, as well as through measures to boost consumption and promote exports.
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