S Korea's industrial output growth accelerates to 13.7% in Jan.

16:07, March 03, 2011      

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South Korea's industrial output growth accelerated to 13.7 percent in January due to strong demand for the country's cars and semiconductors, a government report showed Thursday.

Production in the mining, manufacturing and electricity &gas sectors jumped 13.7 percent in January from a year earlier, after posting a revised 10.6 percent expansion in December, Statistics Korea said in a report.

The January reading marked a double-digit on-year growth for the fourth consecutive month. The output has increased since July 2009.

From a month earlier, the industrial output grew 4.6 percent in January, the highest since the equivalent 4.6 percent increase in September 2009.

Brisk output in January was attributable to strong demand for autos, semiconductors and machinery equipment, offsetting underperformance in the audio &video equipment and computer sectors.

Shipment in the mining firms and manufacturers climbed 14.4 percent in January from the same month a year earlier, while inventory rose 12.9 percent. according to the report.

Local manufactures operated at an average capacity of 84.8 percent in January, up 2.7 percentage points from the previous month. It marked the highest rate of factory utilization since January 1980 when the statistics agency began the data compilation.

A leading index of economic indicators, which gauges business activity eight to 15 months ahead, increased 3.0 percent in January from a year earlier, up 0.2 percentage points from a 2.8 percent gain in December.

Production in the service industry rose 1.5 percent in January from a month before and grew 4.6 percent from a year earlier respectively.

Retail sales gained 4.3 percent in January from December, and sales of consumer goods increased 10.8 percent from a year earlier due to brisk sales of both durable and non-durable goods such as cars, beverages and clothes.

Facility investment in January jumped 20.2 percent from a year earlier, while construction orders plunged 33.9 percent due to decreasing orders in the private property market.

Source: Xinhua
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