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Economic Trends
Current Economic Trends
Sep 2023
In June, services production, retail sales and facility investment increased, while industrial production and construction investment decreased. In July, employment increased at a slower rate, and CPI inflation continued to slow down.

In June, all industry production rose 0.1 percent month-on-month (up 1.1% y-o-y) as services production (up 0.5% m-o-m and up 3.5% y-o-y) increased while industrial production (down 1.0% m-o-m and down 5.6% y-o-y) decreased from the previous month.

In June, retail sales (up 1.0% m-o-m and up 1.4% y-o-y) and facility investment (up 0.2% m-o-m but down 0.6% y-o-y) increased while construction investment (down 2.5% m-o-m but up 8.9% y-o-y) decreased from the previous month.

Exports fell 16.5 percent year-on-year in July as the unit prices of semiconductors and petroleum products declined. Average daily exports decreased 16.5 percent year-on-year to US $2.14 billion in July.

The consumer sentiment index (CSI) rose 2.5 points month-on-month in July to 103.2. The business survey index (BSI) for all industries fell 2 points to 74, and the BSI outlook for August fell 2 points to 73.

In June, the cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index fell 0.2 points month-on-month, and the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index rose 0.3 points.

In July, the economy added 211 thousand jobs year-on-year, and the unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 2.7 percent.

In July, consumer prices rose at a slower pace by 2.3 percent year-on-year, the CPI excluding the food and energy sectors rose by 3.3 percent, and the index excluding the agricultural and petroleum products rose by 3.9 percent. The index of the cost of basic necessities rose by 1.8 percent.

In July, stock prices growth rose on soft landing hopes for the US economy and expectations of price stability. The won strengthened, and Korean Treasury yields rose amid worries about a prolonged monetary tightening.

In July, housing price growth turned positive (from down 0.05% to up 0.03% m-o-m), and the falls in Jeonse prices (lump-sum deposits with no monthly payments) were slower than the previous month (from down 0.16% to down 0.04% m-o-m).

With the continued easing of inflation in Korea, the economic slowdown somewhat eased as indicated by the recovery in export volumes of semiconductors, improved economic sentiment and solid employment growth.

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

The government is pushing for measures to stabilize households’ livelihoods by swiftly responding to inflation concerns and damages caused by heatwaves and heavy rainfall while making all-out efforts to enhance economic vitality for the second half of the year, manage domestic and international risks thoroughly and improve the economic structure.


* For further details, please refer to the attached file