- Current Economic Trends
Retail sales, services and facility investment improved in April, mining and manufacturing and construction slowing. Employment continued to recover in May and consumer prices rose faster.
Industrial production fell 1.1 percent from the previous month in April due to the strong service sector (up 0.4%, m-o-m and up 8.4%, y-o-y). Mining and manufacturing continued to go down (down 1.6%, m-o-m and up 12.4%, y-o-y). Industrial production rose 8.8 percent year on year.
Retail sales (up 2.3%, m-o-m and up 8.6%, y-o-y) and facility investment (up 3.5%, m-o-m and up 16.8%, y-o-y) improved. Construction investment fell (down 0.8%, m-o-m and down 1.8%, y-o-y).
Exports jumped 45.6 percent year-on-year in May backed by strong chips, petrochemicals and other major products. Average daily exports, an indicator calculated according to the days worked, improved 49.0 percent from a year ago (US $1.62 billion, May 2020 >> US $2.42 billion, May 2021).
The consumer sentiment index (CSI) rose 3.0 points in May to 105.2. The business sentiment index (BSI) for the manufacturing sector stayed flat at 96, and the BSI outlook for June fell 1.0 point to 97.
The cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index for April rose 1.1 points to 101.3, and the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index increased 0.4 points to 103.6.
The economy added 619,000 jobs year-on-year in May and the unemployment rate fell 0.5 percentage points from a year ago to 4.0 percent.
Consumer prices rose 2.6 percent year-on-year in May due to high prices of fresh food and oil, as well as a low base effect. Core inflation rose 1.5 percent.
Stock prices rose in May on expectations of economic recovery, both global and local. The won strengthened amid weak dollars, and Korea Treasury yields went up in line with high global interest rates.
Home price growth edged down in May (up 0.71% >> up 0.70%, m-o-m), and Jeonse (lump-sum deposits with no monthly payments) price growth stayed on the same slope (up 0.36% >> up 0.36%, m-o-m).
The economy saw exports and investment continue to recover, as well as domestic demand. April and May job reports presented significant increases.
Major economies’ growth outlook being revised upwards amid expanded vaccine rollouts and fiscal stimulus, inflation worries continue in part due to soaring commodities prices.
The government will draw up its second half economic policies and second extra budget proposal with a focus on helping the economy keep up the recovery momentum and create more jobs, as well as on bolstering pandemic-hit household support and strengthening risk management.
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