Industrial production up 4.5% on year in October, down on month
The strong month was led by semiconductor output, up 38.7 percent. Vehicle output declined 13.5 percent with the chip shortage slowing production.
On month, industrial production declined 3.1 percent, the third on-month fall. Vehicle output was down 5 percent on month.
The broader measure of industrial output, which includes the mining and manufacturing of industrial production plus services, construction and public administration, was up 4.8 percent in October on year, following a rise of 1.4 percent the previous month.
On month, industrial output fell 1.9 percent. This is the sharpest month-on-month drop since a 2-percent decline in April 2020.
Manufacturing exports were up 3.6 percent on year in October, while domestic manufacturing output fell 0.2 percent.
Services output was up 5.2 percent in October on year as insurance and finance output rose 7.2 percent and wholesale and retail output grew 4.3 percent.
Consumer spending grew 7.4 percent on year, with food and beverage sales up 8 percent. But month-on-month, it increased 0.2 percent.
Investment rose 2.9 percent year on year but fell 5.4 percent month on month. In transportation equipment, which includes the automotive manufacturers, investment dropped 7.9 percent on year.
Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki cited fewer workdays as the major reason for the decline in month-on-month industrial output.
"Fewer workdays due to the substitute holidays for the National Foundation Day and Hangeul Day in October were factors that led to the decline in output," Hong said in a social media post Tuesday.
He also noted the global supply crisis affecting the production of automobiles and investment.
Hong was confident that the figures for November will improve with robust exports and the improvement in the domestic market as social distancing regulations were eased in early November.
"There are downward risks such as global supply setback and inflation and uncertainties regarding Covid-19, including the ongoing spread of Covid-19 locally and the emergence of a new variant," Hong said.
BY LEE HO-JEONG [firstname.lastname@example.org]