Manufacturers offset hiccups to maintain operating rate

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Manufacturers offset hiccups to maintain operating rate

The average operating rate of small and medium-sized manufacturers remained unchanged in November as strong exports of mobile phones and semiconductors offset the slumping construction business, a business organization said yesterday.

The capacity utilization rate of 1,344 smaller manufacturers averaged 71.5 percent last month, the same as in October, according to the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business.

The manufacturers’ average operating rate has not surpassed 80 percent - a normal operating rate - since March 2002, when the federation began to collect data, said Choi Ji-hun, an official handling the issue at the business body.

Production and exports of semiconductors and mobile phones increased last month, but the construction industry was in a slump, he said.

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