Industrial output falls for the first time in 8 months

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Industrial output falls for the first time in 8 months

Korea's industrial output declined for the first time in eight months in January, data showed Tuesday, in the latest sign that the country's economic recovery momentum still remains weak amid the pandemic.
The industrial output declined 0.6 percent in January from the previous month, compared with a 0.4 percent on-month gain in December last year, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea. But from a year earlier, it gained 1.4 percent.
It marked the first on-month decline since May 2020, when industrial production fell 1.5 percent.
Production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries declined 1.6 percent on-month in January from a 2.7 percent gain the previous month.
In January, production in the manufacturing sector declined due largely to falls in output of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels. Service output also fell for the second straight month amid a resurgence in Covid-19 cases.
Service output dipped 0.2 percent on-month, compared with a 1.1 percent on-month fall in December.
"Service output continued to remain sluggish amid the pandemic, while production in the manufacturing industry partly declined on-month due to the impact of sharp growth in December," Eo Woon-sun, a senior Statistics Korea official, said at a press briefing.
But consumption rose for the second straight month in January despite tougher virus curbs over a flare-up in new coronavirus cases.
Retail sales grew 1.6 percent from a month earlier, compared with a 0.1 percent on-month gain in December, the data showed. It marked the fastest growth since August last year.
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