Industrial output steams ahead for second month in a row

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Industrial output steams ahead for second month in a row

Korea’s industrial output gained ground slightly for the second straight month in August on a rise in output in the chip-making and electronics sectors, but the uptick was offset by sluggish retail sales and corporate investment, government data showed Friday.

Production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries climbed 0.4 percent on-month in August, following an adjusted 1.7 percent rise in the previous month, according to the data by Statistics Korea.

It was the first time in nearly two years that the figure remained in positive terrain for two months in a row.

From a year earlier, industrial output also increased 2.7 percent last month.

Production in the service sector added 0.1 percent last month from a month earlier, with a 2.1 percent on-year rise.

Retail sales, however, fell 1 percent on-month in August, ending a two-month winning streak in June and July. The statistics office said a rise in demand for smartphones from companies like Samsung Electronics, Apple and LG Electronics boosted demand for Korean-made mobile chips and electronic parts like OLED panels.

Production of semiconductors jumped 12.4 percent last month from a month earlier, expanding 1.1 percent in July, while electronic components rose 5.5 percent on-year.

But the rest of the production side remained lukewarm as the average facility operation rate dropped 1.1 percentage points to 72 percent last month. Yonhap
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