Mining and manufacturing, services, retail sales and facility investment slowed in August, construction investment improving, though. Employment continued an upward trajectory in September and consumer price inflation slowed somewhat.
Industrial production fell 0.2 percent from the previous month in August due to weak mining and manufacturing (down 0.7%, m-o-m and up 9.6%, y-o-y) and services (down 0.6%, m-o-m and up 4.4%, y-o-y). Compared with a year ago, industrial production rose 6.0 percent.
Construction investment (up 1.6%, m-o-m and up 0.3%, y-o-y) improved in August, and retail sales (down 0.8%, m-o-m and up 3.8%, y-o-y) slowed, as well as facility investment (down 5.1%, m-o-m and up 11.8%, y-o-y).
Exports rose 16.7 percent compared to the previous year in September backed by strong semiconductors, petrochemicals and other major exports. Average daily exports, an indicator calculated according to the days worked, rose 27.9 percent from a year ago (US $2.08 billion, September 2020 >> US $2.66 billion, September 2021).
The consumer sentiment index (CSI) rose 1.3 points in September to 103.8. The business sentiment index (BSI) for the manufacturing sector declined 5 points to 90, and the BSI outlook for October dropped 3 points to 93.
The cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index for August remained flat at 101.3, and the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index dropped 0.3 points to 102.4.
The economy added 671,000 jobs year-on-year in September and the unemployment rate fell 0.9 percentage points from a year ago to 2.7 percent.
Consumer prices rose 2.5 percent year-on-year in September due to high prices of oil products and personal services. Core inflation rose 1.9 percent.
Stock prices fell in September amid rising inflation concerns and monetary policy shifts in major economies. The won weakened and Korea Treasury yields went up.
Housing prices continued to rise in August (up 0.85% >> up 0.96%, m-o-m), as well as Jeonse (lumpsum deposits with no monthly payments) prices (up 0.59% >> up 0.63%, m-o-m).
The economy has seen exports stay strong and employment keep improving. However, uncertainties linger over close-contact services.
Global economic recovery will continue, but at a slower pace given rising commodities prices and supply shortages.
The government will work on timely implementation of its economy-boosting measures, such as those to absorb pandemic shocks and maintain the recovery momentum, as well as will work to keep inflation in check and help businesses go back to normal.
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