Industrial output grew in July

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Industrial output grew in July

Korea’s industrial output rebounded in July from a month earlier, helped by a rise in petrochemical production, government data showed Friday.

Production in mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity rose 0.4 percent month on month in July, following an adjusted 0.7 percent fall in the previous month.

From a year earlier, industrial output climbed 0.9 percent, following a 0.4 percent dip in June.

Production in the service sector remained unchanged last month, with a 2 percent year-on-year rise.

Retail sales increased 0.5 percent month on month, compared to a 0.7 percent gain in June. On year, sales rose 6 percent.

Facility investment continued to decline, falling 0.6 percent month on month, following a 7.1 percent drop in June. It was the fifth consecutive month of decline.

For all industries, production gained 0.5 percent month on month in July, following an adjusted 0.7 percent fall in the previous month. On a yearly basis, industrial production rose 1.2 percent, the data showed.

The statistics office said a rise in petrochemical production and other sectors offset a fall in auto production last month.

Production of vehicles fell 4.9 percent in July from a month earlier, while petrochemical production gained 2.2 percent.

The average factory operation rate stood at 74.3 percent, up 0.9 percentage points from a month earlier.

“The slump in facilities is mainly due to the completion of massive investments by major chipmakers,” Statistics Korea said in a statement.

“Despite a correction in facility investment, the country’s overall industrial output rebounded on the back of a rise in production in the mining and manufacturing sectors,” the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said.

The government said a recovery in the global economy and sound exports were positives, but there were also risk factors such as additional interest rate hikes in the United States and a trade tussle between Washington and Beijing amid weak job conditions.

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