South Korea`s industrial output kept up a mild growth momentum in September and showed the most positive sign yet with rebounds in domestic demand on top of strong exports of IT components.
According to Statistics Korea on Tuesday, seasonally adjusted mining and manufacturing output in September added 0.1 percent against the previous month, while jumping by 8.4 percent against a year-ago when automaking sites and output had been plagued by strikes. When excluding the automobile sector, manufacturing yield retreated 0.4 percent from the previous month.
The average factory operation rate in September slipped to 71.8 percent from 72.0 percent in August.
Memory chip and electronics components shipment that fueled manufacturing activity and economic growth for most of this year showed signs of easing.
Semiconductor output fell 0.1 percent on month while growing 6.9 percent against the year, losing steam from double-digit expansions in the previous months. Shipments of electronic components slipped 1.1 percent on month.
Retail sales - a barometer for private consumption - jumped 3.1 percent on month compared with a 0.9 percent fall in the previous month. Against a year-ago, the figure was up 8.3 percent thanks to a 20.8 percent spike in spending in durable goods - the strongest-yet sign of a recovery in consumption.
Whether consumption can be durable, however, is yet to be seen, the office added as the gain largely owed to releases of new premium smartphones and purchase of gifts ahead of the Chuseok holiday.
Capital investment also rebounded 5.5 percent from August after a 0.7 percent fall in the previous month. Against the same month in 2016, it was up 25.2 percent.
Construction investment declined 2.2 percent on month extending the 1.7 percent loss in August.
The industrial output for July-September gained 1.5 percent, compared with a 2.3 percent decline in the second quarter. The service sector output grew 1.4 percent in the third quarter, its best record since the second quarter of 2010.
At 10:10 a.m. Tuesday, the main composite index is up 0.2 percent at 2,506.62, extending its rally above a historic high.
By Boo Jang-won and Minu Kim
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