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Economic Trends
Current Economic Trends
Dec 2023
In September, industrial and services production, retail sales, facility investment and construction investment rose. In October, job growth was even stronger while inflation speeded up.

In September, all industry production grew 1.1 percent month-on-month (up 2.8% y-o-y) as industrial production (up 1.8% m-o-m and up 3.0% y-o-y) and services production (up 0.4% m-o-m and up 2.2% y-o-y) climbed from a month earlier.

In September, retail sales (up 0.2% m-o-m and down 1.9% y-o-y), facility investment (up 8.7% m-o-m and down 5.7% y-o-y) and construction investment (up 2.5% m-o-m and up 14.5% y-o-y) all rose month-on-month.

In October, exports turned positive (from down 4.4% to up 5.1% y-o-y) thanks to growth in automobiles, vessels and petroleum products. Average daily exports jumped by 7.6 percent from a year ago to US $2.62 billion.

In October, the consumer sentiment index (CSI) fell by 1.6 points month-on-month to 98.1. The business survey index (BSI) for all industries decreased 3 points from a month ago to 70 and the BSI outlook for November fell 4 points to 69.

In September, the cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index decreased by 0.1 points month-on-month, and the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index increased by 0.1 points.

In October, the economy added 346 thousand jobs year-on-year and the unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points to 2.1 percent.

In October, consumer prices rose at a faster pace (from up 3.7% to up 3.8% y-o-y), the CPI excluding the food and energy sectors rose by 3.2 percent, and the index excluding the agricultural and petroleum products rose by 3.6 percent. The index of the cost of basic necessities rose by 4.6 percent.

In October, stock prices fell, the won weakened and Korean Treasury bond yields rose affected by rising US Treasury yields and political instability in the Middle East.

In October, housing prices rose at a slower pace (from up 0.25% to up 0.20% m-o-m), while Jeonse (lump-sum deposits with no monthly payments) prices increased faster (from up 0.32% to up 0.36% m-o-m).

Amid the recent moderation in inflation, uncertainties still surrounded the Korean economy owing to supply factors. Signs of economic recovery are beginning to appear, as indicated by the rebound in manufacturing production and exports, including semiconductors, and continued improvements in services production and employment.

Internationally, alongside the prospect of the global IT industry’s growth and a surge in tourists visiting Korea, concerns remain over the prolonged high interest rates. At the same time, uncertainties linger as the political unrest in the Middle East in addition to the Russia-Ukraine war exacerbates the volatility of commodity prices.

The government plans to meticulously manage risks at home and abroad as well as improve its fundamental economic structure while placing its top priority on stabilizing prices and households’ livelihoods and ramping up the country’s domestic consumption, investment and exports.

* For further details, please refer to the attached file.