ASIA BUSI­NESS S Korea econ­omy backed by do­mes­tic de­mand

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SEJONG — South Korea’s econ­omy is backed by ro­bust ex­ports and do­mes­tic con­sump­tion, although cap­i­tal spend­ing and job cre­ation re­main slug­gish and ex­ter­nal un­cer­tain­ties are deep­en­ing, a gov­ern­ment re­port said yes­ter­day.

A weaker job mar­ket, rate hikes in the United States and ris­ing oil prices pose down­side risks for Asia’s fourth-largest econ­omy, the fi­nance min­istry said in its monthly eco­nomic as­sess­ment re­port.

“Ex­ports and do­mes­tic de­mand are main­tain­ing de­cent pace, but ex­ter­nal un­cer­tain­ties are on the rise due to the trade con­flict be­tween the US and China and ris­ing oil prices,” it added.

The re­port, called the “Green Book”, is based on the lat­est eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors of such key fac­tors as out­put, ex­ports, con­sump­tion and cor­po­rate in­vest­ment, which pro­vide clues as to how the econ­omy has been far­ing in re­cent months.

The coun­try’s over­all in­dus­trial out­put de­clined 1.3 per cent in Septem­ber com­pared with a month ear­lier, fol­low­ing a 0.5 per cent on­month rise the pre­vi­ous month.

Re­tail sales de­clined 2.2 per cent on-month in Septem­ber, but rose 0.5 per cent from a year ear­lier.

In Septem­ber, job ad­di­tions reached 45,000, ris­ing from Au­gust’s 5,000.

Fa­cil­ity in­vest­ment rose 2.9 per cent in Septem­ber from a month ear­lier, fol­low­ing the pre­vi­ous month’s 0.6 per cent on-month de­crease.

On the ex­port front, the coun­try’s ex­ports shot up in Oc­to­ber com­pared with a year ago on up­beat sales of mem­ory chips and petro­chem­i­cal prod­ucts.

Out­bound ship­ments reached US$54.97 bil­lion last month, a 22.7 per cent surge from a year ago and the sec­ond-high­est monthly fig­ure since Septem­ber 2017, ac­cord­ing to the data com­piled by the Min­istry of Trade, In­dus­try and En­ergy. — YON­HAP

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