- Current Economic Trends
Mining and manufacturing production, services output and construction investment improved from the previous month in February. Retail sales and facility investment fell.
Industrial production rose 2.1 percent month-on-month in February as mining and manufacturing (up 4.3%, m-o-m and up 0.9%, y-o-y) and services output (up 1.1%, m-o-m and down 0.7%, y-o-y) increased. Industrial production rose 0.4 percent year-on-year.
Retail sales (down 0.8%, m-o-m and up 8.4%, y-o-y) and facility investment (down 2.5%, m-o-m and up 7.0%, y-o-y) fell. Construction investment went up (up 6.5%, m-o-m and down 8.7%, y-o-y).
Exports climbed 16.6 percent from a year ago in March backed by strong chips, petrochemicals and other major products. Average daily exports, an indicator calculated according to the days worked, jumped 16.6 percent from a year ago (US $1.92 billion in Mar 2020 >> US $2.24 billion in Mar 2021).
The consumer sentiment index (CSI) rose 3.1 points month-on-month in March to 100.5. The business sentiment index (BSI) for the manufacturing sector went up 7 points to 89, and the BSI outlook for April improved 4 points to 91.
The cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index for February rose 0.3 points from a month ago to 99.7, and the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index rose 0.2 points to 102.9.
The economy added 314,000 jobs year-on-year in March, and the unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage points from a year ago to 4.3 percent.
Consumer prices went up 1.5 percent from a year ago in March due to the higher oil prices, and core inflation rose 1.0 percent.
KOSPI rose somewhat amid the expectations of economic recovery and rising US treasury yields. The won weakened due to the strong dollar, and Korea treasury yields went up in line with rising global market interest rates.
Home prices slowly rose in March (up 0.89% in February >> up 0.74% in March, m-o-m), and Jeonse (lump-sum deposits with no monthly payments) prices also rose at a slower rate (up 0.64% in February >> up 0.46% in March, m-o-m).
Exports and manufacturing is on a recovery track. The economy has seen domestic demand gradually improving and employment rising.
Expectations for global economic recovery is growing backed by expanded vaccinations and the implementation of large-scale stimulus packages in major economies. However, inflation concerns linger amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The government will carry out its planned measures to support exports and fuel domestic demand, and will strengthen internal and external risk management.
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