South Korea’s manufacturing output improved in June from the previous month and also from three months earlier on slight improvement in chip activity, while domestic demand worsened on doubts about economic prospects.
According to the Statistics Korea on Wednesday, seasonally adjusted mining and manufacturing output inched up 0.2 percent in June from the previous month, owing to a 4.6 percent recovery in semiconductor yield.
Against a year-ago, factory output was down 2.9 percent.
For the second quarter, manufacturing output added 1.2 percent after a 2.9 percent contraction in the previous three-month period, whereas service sector stayed unchanged. The gross domestic product as result returned positive in the second quarter after 0.4 percent fall.
The main Kospi bourse on Wednesday closed 0.69 percent lower at 2,024.55, while the secondary Kosdaq finished 0.73 percent up at 630.18.
Factory operation in June averaged 71.9 percent, unchanged from a month earlier. Inventory level fell 0.9 percent on month but jumped 6.1 percent on year.
Service sector activity, an indicator for domestic demand, lost 1.0 percent from the previous month, with the information communication sector off 4.2 percent and the wholesale/retail sector down 1.6 percent as consumers held back spending amid uncertainties about income and economic prospects.
Retail sales – a barometer for private consumption – skidded 1.6 percent on month, compared with a 0.9 percent increase in May. Durable goods like cars were down 3.9 percent before new releases in the latter half of this year, non-durable goods like food and beverages 0.3 percent, and semi-durable goods 2.0 percent.
Capital investment added 0.4 percent on month after a 7.1 percent dip in May. Investment in machineries gained 0.4 percent and transportation equipment up 0.6 percent.
Both coincident and leading indicators measuring present and future economic activities to suggest direction of where the business cycle is at or heading remained negative.
The coincident index slipped by 0.1 point on month to 98.5, reversing from a 0.2 point rise in May. The leading indicator also retreated by 0.2 point on month, sliding for two consecutive months.
By Lee Ha-yeon
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