The Korea Herald


Industrial output, retail sales, investment all fall in Oct.: data

By Yonhap

Published : Nov. 30, 2023 - 09:45

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An official looks at a semiconductor wafer on display at the Semiconductor Exhibition, or SEDEX, in Seoul on Oct. 25. (Yonhap) An official looks at a semiconductor wafer on display at the Semiconductor Exhibition, or SEDEX, in Seoul on Oct. 25. (Yonhap)

South Korea's industrial output fell in October on a marked decline in the production of the semiconductor sector, data showed Thursday.

Retail sales and facility investment also declined last month, and it was the first time in three months that the three major indicators on industrial activities logged an on-month fall, according to Statistics Korea.

Industrial production dropped 1.6 percent on-month in October following two months of gains.

It was the sharpest decline since April 2020, when the output shed 1.8 percent from the previous month.

The decline came as the overall manufacturing sector reported a 3.5 percent on-month fall in production last month.

Of major manufacturing sectors, the semiconductor industry saw an 11.4 percent production fall, the largest decrease since February, when the reading came to 13.1 percent.

The output from the chip industry logged double-digit growth in August and September amid an industry turnaround.

The country's chip inventory fell 9.6 percent on-month last month on the dwindling production, though the inventory surged 44.7 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.

"The production decline was attributable to fewer working days as the government designated a temporary holiday on Oct. 2, as well as a high base effect following sharp gains in the previous two months," an agency official said.

In an on-year time frame, industrial output rose 1 percent last month, the third consecutive increase.

The output from the semiconductor sector advanced 14.7 percent on-year in October, and that from the car industry added 2.8 percent. But the production of machinery and equipment sank 13.3 percent on-year last month.

The service sector reported a 0.9 percent on-month decline in output, as weak production in the wholesale and retail sector and the financial industry offset gains in the health and social welfare fields.

Retail sales, a gauge of private spending, went down 0.8 percent on-month on weak demand for food and other non-durable goods.

Sales of clothing and other semi-durable goods added 4.3 percent on-month, and such durable goods as communication devices and computers grew 1 percent in September.

Compared with a year earlier, retail sales lost 4.4 percent last month as demand for home appliances and other durable goods, as well as clothing, food and other items, all went down, according to the data.

Facility investment also slid 3.3 percent, compared with the 8.7 percent rise a month earlier, according to the data.

In an on-year term, facility investment sank 9.7 percent in September due mainly to a fall in investment in machinery and auto sectors, the data showed. (Yonhap)