South Korea's industrial output rebounded in November snapping the second consecutive month of decline on the back of a gain in semiconductors and cars, government data showed Thursday.
Production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries rose 4.8 percent last month from a year ago, according to the data by Statistics Korea.
The November figure marked the first on-year gain in three months, following a 1.9 percent drop in September and 1.3 percent fall in October.
It also reached the highest number since January 2013 when it jumped 9 percent from the year earlier.
From a month earlier, industrial output also rose 3.4 percent in November.
Production in the service sector added 2.5 percent last month from a year earlier, with a 0.1 percent on-month rise.
For all industries, output increased 4.6 percent on-year in November and advanced 1.6 percent from a month earlier, the data showed.
The statistics agency said brisk exports in November contributed to the upturn in industrial output as the country's manufacturing sector is closely linked with outbound shipments.
Exports rose 2.5 percent last month, turning around from two straight months of negative growth in the previous months, on increased demand for South Korean-made chips and cars. Asia's fourth-largest economy saw its exports fall 21 months out of the past 23 months since the beginning of 2015.
The production side reflected the uptick in exports as the output of semiconductors soared 17.8 percent from a year earlier and that of vehicles rose 6.2 percent. The carmaking sector is on a recovery track following months-long partial strikes at major companies including industry leader Hyundai Motor Co.
"The entire industry is highly influenced by ups and downs in exports," said Eo Woon-sun, director of the short-term industrial statistics division at Statistics Korea. "But we have to check that some industries such as the mobile phone sector are increasing overseas production."
The average factory operation rate added 3 percentage points to a four-month high of 73.5 percent in November.
Private consumption rose 3.2 percent last month from a year earlier, but edged down 0.2 percent from the previous month due to diminished effects from the nationwide shopping festival in October.
Seasonally adjusted index of retail sales reached 121.3 in November, the second-best number following an all-time high of121.5 tallied in October.
"Consumption has been on a steady rise for months as the index of retail sales remained high," said the official. "Considering the end of the government's policy supports including an excise tax cut program, retail sales are better-than-expected." (Yonhap)