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Economic Trends
Current Economic Trends
Nov 2023
In August, industrial and services production, facility investment and construction investment  rose while retail sales fell. In September, job growth was even stronger while consumer prices  rose at a faster pace.

In August, all industry production grew 2.2 percent month-on-month (up 1.5% y-o-y) as industrial  production (up 5.5% m-o-m and down 0.5% y-o-y) and services production (up 0.3% m-o-m and up  1.7% y-o-y) climbed from a month earlier. 

In August, facility investment (up 3.6% m-o-m and down 14.9% y-o-y) and construction investment  (up 4.4% m-o-m and up 12.3% y-o-y) rose month-on-month, while retail sales (down 0.3% m-o-m and down 4.8% y-o-y) fell.

In September, exports declined at a slower pace (from down 8.4% to down 4.4% y-o-y) than the  previous month thanks to the upturn in semiconductors and exports to China. Average daily exports  fell by 2.1 percent from a year ago to US $2.60 billion.

In September, the consumer sentiment index (CSI) fell by 3.4 points month-on-month to 99.7. The  business survey index (BSI) for all industries increased 2 points from a month ago to 73 and the BSI outlook for October remained unchanged at 73. 

In August, the cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index decreased by 0.2 points month-on month, and the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index remained steady.
In September, the economy added 309 thousand jobs year-on-year and the unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage points to 2.3 percent.

In September, consumer prices rose at a faster pace (from up 3.4% to up 3.7% y-o-y), the CPI excluding  the food and energy sectors rose by 3.3 percent, and the index excluding the agricultural and petroleum products rose by 3.8 percent. The index of the cost of basic necessities rose by 4.4 percent. 

In September, stock prices fell, the won weakened and Korean Treasury bond yields rose amid  concerns about the Fed’s prolonged monetary tightening.

In September, housing prices rose faster (from up 0.16% to up 0.25% m-o-m) and Jeonse (lump-sum  deposits with no monthly payments) prices continued to rise (from up 0.15% to up 0.32% m-o-m). 

Amid recent moderation in inflation, uncertainties still surround the Korean economy. Rebounds in production and exports are expected, particularly in manufacturing sectors such  as semiconductors, while the ongoing improvement in services and employment has led to a  gradual easing of the economic slowdown.

Internationally, alongside the anticipations for the global IT industry’s rebound and a surge in Chinese  tourists, concerns remain over the prolonged monetary tightening. At the same time, uncertainties  linger as the political unrest in the Middle East in addition to the Russia-Ukraine war exacerbates volatile commodity prices.

The government plans to meticulously manage risks at home and abroad, aiming to firmly establish the foundation for achieving stability of households’ livelihoods while ramping up the country’s domestic consumption, investment and exports as well as improving its economic structure.

* For further details, please refer to the attached file