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Industrial output dips most in over 1 year in April; inventories at record high

By Yonhap

Published : May 31, 2023 - 09:29

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(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

SEJONG-- South Korea's industrial output dropped by the most in over a year in April due to an extended slump in the chipmaking sector, data showed Wednesday, with the inventory level at a fresh high.

Industrial output dropped 1.4 percent on-month last month, snapping two consecutive months of gains, and marked the sharpest drop since a 1.5 percent fall in February last year, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

The output in the mining, manufacturing, gas, and electricity industries also fell 1.2 percent on-month in April, due to the falling production of machinery and pharmaceutical products.

From a year earlier, the production of automobiles moved up 16.6 percent, while that of semiconductors, the backbone of Asia's No. 4 economy, dropped 20.2 percent, according to the data.

The service output slid 0.3 percent on-month in April, as losses in the retail and wholesale sector offset gains in the finance and insurance segment.

The inventory level in the manufacturing sector reached 130.4 percent, up 13.2 percentage points on-month, reaching the highest level since the agency compiled related data in 1975.

The rise in the inventory was led mostly by the semiconductor and petroleum sectors.

Retail sales, a gauge of private spending, decreased 2.3 percent on-month in April, amid higher inflation and borrowing costs.

Sales of semidurable goods, such as clothes, fell 6.3 percent on-month in April, with those of non-durable items, including foodstuffs, losing 1.2 percent.

The demand for durable goods, covering telecommunication devices and computers, fell 1.7 percent over the period.

Facility investment, meanwhile, gained 0.9 percent.

The growth was mainly led by the increase in the import volume of aircraft, with the daily average reaching $20.8 million in April, rising sharply from $13.4 million tallied a month earlier. (Yonhap)