Korean industrial output rises for first time in five months

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Korean industrial output rises for first time in five months

Industrial output rebounded for the first time in five months in November, data showed Thursday, while retail sales extended losses for the third consecutive month amid economic concerns.
Industrial production edged up 0.1 percent on month last month, turning around from a 1.7 percent decrease posted in October, according to the data from Statistics Korea.
The rebound came as the output for mining, manufacturing and utilities advanced 0.4 percent on month in November. The auto output jumped 9 percent over the period.
The growth was limited as chip production fell 11 percent amid the weak global demand.
Service output fell 0.6 percent in November, led mainly by the accommodation and restaurant industries.
Retail sales, a gauge of private spending, decreased 1.8 percent, extending losses to the third consecutive month.
The decrease was partially attributable to a deadly crowd crush in Seoul on Oct. 29 that claimed 158 lives, which weighed down demand for face-to-face services, the agency said.
Facility investment moved up 1 percent on month in November, the data added.
"The service output and retail sales are decreasing. The manufacturing sector also remains sluggish, and we cannot say that it is improving," said Eo Woon-sun, a senior Statistics Korea official. "The economy continued to stay weak."
Korea has been grappling with inflation, with consumer prices soaring 5 percent on year in November.
The central bank has increased its base rate by a combined 2.75 percentage points since August last year to tame inflation. The rate currently stands at 3.25 percent. 

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