S Korea's economic data weakens amid lingering uncertainties: ministry

10:13, June 10, 2011      

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South Korea's economic data has weakened recently amid lingering external uncertainties, a government report showed Thursday.

The country's labor conditions keep improving amid easing inflationary pressures, but economic data of production, consumption and investment seem to be slowing amid external uncertainties, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said in a monthly report assessing the latest economic situation.

Jobless rate fell 0.1 percentage point on-year to 3.7 percent in April, with the number of employed growing 379,000. Consumer prices rose 4.1 percent in May from a year earlier, but it slowed compared with a 4.2 percent on-year gain the previous month.

However, economic indicators of production, consumption and investment weakened. Industrial output contracted 1.5 percent in April from a month earlier, with retail sales falling 1.1 percent on-month in April. Facility investment declined 5.7 percent on-month in April due to slowdown in transportation equipment investment.

Exports grew 23.5 percent on-year last month, but trade surplus narrowed to 2.7 billion U.S. dollars in May from 5.1 billion dollars in April due to rising oil imports amid higher oil prices.

The ministry said it will closely monitor economic conditions amid growing external uncertainties such as higher oil prices, potential economic slowdown in advanced nations and re-emerging European fiscal crisis.

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