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Economic Trends
Current Economic Trends
Mar 2023
Industrial and services production, and facility and construction investment decreased while retail sales increased in December 2022. Employment rose at a slower pace and consumer prices rose at a slightly faster pace in January 2023.

All industry production decreased 1.6 percent month-on-month in December 2022 as both industrial production (down 2.9%, m-o-m and down 7.3%, y-o-y) and services production (down 0.2%, m-o-m and up 3.7%, y-o-y) declined.

Retail sales rose in December (up 1.4%, m-o-m and down 2.5%, y-o-y), while facility investment (down 7.1%, m-o-m and up 3.2%, y-o-y) and construction investment (down 9.5%, m-o-m and down 3.1%, y-o-y) fell.

Exports declined 16.6 percent year-on-year in January 2023 led by an overall slump in the export of IT items such as semiconductors. Average daily exports decreased 14.6 percent year-on-year to US $2.15 billion in January 2023 from US $2.52 billion in January 2022.

The consumer sentiment index (CSI) rose 0.5 points month-on-month in January 2023 to 90.7. The business survey index (BSI) for all industries fell 5 points to 69, and the BSI outlook for February 2023 also declined 2 points to 68.

In December 2022, both the cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index and the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index fell 0.9 points and 0.5 points month-on-month, respectively.

The economy added 411,000 jobs year-on-year in January 2023 and the unemployment rate fell 0.5 percentage points to 3.6 percent.

Consumer prices rose at a slightly faster pace in January 2023 (up 5.0% → up 5.2%, y-o-y), affected by price increase factors at the beginning of the year. Core prices rose 5.0 percent.

In January 2023, stock prices increased, Korean Treasury yields fell, and the won strengthened amid China’s reopening and market expectations for adjusting the pace of monetary tightening.

Housing prices declined at a slower rate in January 2023 (down 1.98% → down 1.49%, m-o-m) and prices of Jeonse (lump-sum deposits with no monthly payments) also declined at a slower rate than the previous month (down 2.42% → down 2.29%, m-o-m).

Amid continued high inflation in Korea, economic growth slowed down, as indicated by the slowing pace of domestic demand recovery and continued downturn of exports and business sentiment.

Global economic uncertainties continue to linger driven by downside risks including concerns about monetary tightening stance and the prolonged Russia-Ukraine war amid favorable economic factors such as China’s reopening and expectations for the global economy’s soft landing.

The government will go all out to improve economic structures with several measures including reforms in the key three sectors and an increase in energy efficiency, and to manage risks at home and abroad, while making concerted efforts to boost exports and investment under the stance of achieving price stabilization and reducing households’ economic burdens.


* For further details, please refer to the attached file