S. Korea’s production, consumption, investment all rise in March

By Bae Hyunjung

Key industrial figures see on-month rise in March on February base effect

  • Published : Apr 30, 2019 - 15:18
  • Updated : Apr 30, 2019 - 15:18

South Korea’s key industrial indexes for production, consumption and investment all marked an increase in March due to the low-base effect from the previous month, government data showed Tuesday.

According to Statistics Korea, the country’s industrial output inched up 1.1 percent in March from a month earlier, reflecting the increased production of semiconductors.

Semiconductors, a key export item of Asia’s fourth-largest economy, recorded a 3.6 percent on-month rise in output.

Kim Bo-kyoung, director of industry statistics at Statistics Korea. (Yonhap)

“(The monthly uptrend) was largely attributable to the low-base effect in February,” said Kim Bo-kyoung, director of industry statistics, in a briefing.

But the industrial output for January-March was down 0.8 percent from the fourth quarter of last year, data showed.

Retail sales inched up 3.3 percent in March from a month earlier, marking a 49-month high in on-month growth since February 2015. Consumption largely reflected demand for fine dust-related home appliances, such as air purifiers and clothes dryers, according to the statistics office.

Meanwhile, facility investment saw double digit on-month growth, climbing 10 percent in March from a month earlier, amid the establishment of the fifth-generation network and the launch of new smartphones.

Despite the on-month rise, the quarterly figure for January-March was down 5.4 percent from the previous quarter and down 19.5 percent from the same period last year.

“The facility investment sector continues to be affected by the prolonged base effect of semiconductor production,” Kim said.

By Bae Hyun-jung (