Retail sales, service output face extended slump in restructuring-hit region

By Yonhap
  • Published : Nov 8, 2018 - 13:25
  • Updated : Nov 8, 2018 - 13:25

Retail sales and service output in restructuring-hit regions continued to remain in a slump in the third quarter, government data showed Thursday.

According to the data compiled by Statistics Korea, service output in South Gyeonsang Province, North Jeolla Province and Ulsan city suffered a decline of 0.8 percent, 0.6 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, in the July-September period, from a year earlier.

Retail sales in South Gyeongnam, North Jeolla and Ulsan also logged negative growth, the latest findings showed.

'Closed' sign in front of GM Korea assembly line in Gunsan (Yonhap)

The regions are home to major shipyards, including Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., and automaking-related firms like GM Korea.

Unemployment rates in the regions also remained high.

Gunsan, where GM's money-losing assembly line was shut down in June, reported a jobless rate of 4.1 percent in the first six months of the year, up 2.5 percentage points from a year earlier.

The jobless rate in Geoje, home to the country's major shipyards, including Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., stood at a very high 7 percent in the first six months of the year, up 4.1 percentage points from the year earlier period.

The figure marks the highest jobless rate since 2013, when the country started compiling job data of major cities.

In May, South Korea designated Ulsan, Geoje, Mokpo and several other regions, home to shipbuilders and other manufacturing operations, as emergency response zones so as to provide job support and tax incentives.

The designation came as local shipbuilders have suffered a drawn-out dry spell, which has forced many to slash jobs.

Earlier, the government unveiled a set of support measures, including tax incentives, to help firms reeling from massive restructuring efforts stay afloat. (Yonhap)