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Economic Trends
Current Economic Trends
Aug 2023
In May, industrial production, retail sales, facility investment and construction investment increased, while services production decreased. In June, employment continued to increase, and CPI inflation slowed down.

In May, all industry production rose 1.3 percent month-on-month (down 0.9% y-o-y) as industrial production (up 3.2% m-o-m but down 7.3% y-o-y) increased while services production (down 0.1% m-o-m but up 2.0% y-o-y) decreased from the previous month.

In May, retail sales (up 0.4% m-o-m but down 0.6% y-o-y), facility investment (up 3.5% m-o-m but down 4.3% y-o-y) and construction investment (up 0.5% m-o-m and up 5.4% y-o-y) all increased from the previous month.

Exports fell 6.0 percent year-on-year in June as exports of automobiles and vessels improved while IT exports were stagnant. Average daily exports declined 10.1 percent year-on-year to US $2.36 billion in June 2023.

The consumer sentiment index (CSI) rose 2.7 points month-on-month in June to 100.7. The business survey index (BSI) for all industries remained unchanged at 76, and the BSI outlook for July fell 1 point to 75.

In May, the cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index rose 0.1 points month-on-month, and the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index stayed flat.

In June, the economy added 333 thousand jobs year-on-year, and the unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points to 2.7 percent. In June, consumer prices rose at a slower pace by 2.7 percent year-on-year, the CPI excluding the food and energy sectors rose by 3.5 percent, and the index excluding the agricultural and petroleum products rose by 4.1 percent.

In June, stock prices were relatively steady, and the won strengthened. Korean Treasury yields rose amid a continued monetary tightening.

In June, housing price falls slowed down (from down 0.22% to down 0.05% m-o-m), and the falls in Jeonse (lump-sum deposits with no monthly payments) prices were also slower than the previous month (from down 0.31% to down 0.16% m-o-m).

Korea’s inflation has been easing. The economy continued to slow down mainly in manufacturing, but downside risks eased as indicated by a partial alleviation of sluggish exports, moderate recovery of domestic demand and economic sentiment, and solid employment growth.

Internationally, with continued expectations for a potential upturn in the IT industry, the anticipations of China’s reopening and worries about its restrictions were mixed while uncertainties persisted because of the monetary tightening and impacts of the prolonged Russia-Ukraine war.

The government plans to push for policy tasks for the second half of the year to boost economic vitality, focusing on the promotion of exports, investment and domestic demand, and stabilize prices and households’ livelihoods as well as improve its economic structure under strict risk management.


* For further details, please refer to the attached file