Service output and construction investment increased in January 2020. Mining and manufacturing slowed, as well as facilities investment and retail sales.
Industrial production rose slightly by 0.1 percent from the previous month in January. Services improved (up 0.4%, m-o-m and up 0.7%, y-o-y), and mining and manufacturing fell (down 1.3%, m-o-m and down 2.4%, y-o-y). Industrial production dropped 0.5 percent year on year.
Retail sales (down 3.1%, m-o-m and up 1.8%, y-o-y) and facilities investment (down 6.6%, m-o-m and down 3.8%, y-o-y) went down from the previous month in January. Construction investment improved (up 3.3%, m-o-m and down 4.8%, y-o-y).
Exports improved in February, going up 4.5 percent year-on-year due to more days worked(3.5 days). Average daily exports, an indicator calculated according to the days worked, fell (US $2.08 billion (Feb 2019) → US $1.83 billion (Feb 2020).
The consumer sentiment index (CSI) dropped 7.3 points in February to 96.9. The business sentiment index (BSI) for the manufacturing sector plummeted, falling 11 points to 65, and the BSI outlook for March went down 8 points to 69.
The cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index in January rose 0.3 points to 100.5, and the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index rose 0.1 points to 100.3.
The economy added 492,000 jobs year-on-year in February backed by the service sector. The unemployment rate fell 0.6 percentage points from a year ago to 4.1 percent.
Consumer prices rose 1.1 percent year-on-year in February. Fresh food prices and personal service costs grew slowly, and petroleum prices continued to rise. Core inflation rose 0.6 percent.
KOSPI fell in February, Korea treasury yields declining. The won stayed unstable.
Housing prices continued to rise in February (up 0.28% → up 0.34%, m-o-m), and Jeonse(lump-sum deposits with no monthly payments) prices grew at a slower pace (up 0.28% → up 0.21%, m-o-m).
The economy has seen confidence undermined and activities suspended amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Uncertainties have been growing in the real economy, as well as in the financial market.
Uncertainties are growing in the global economy, too. The global economic growth outlook, as well as outlooks for major economies, has been revised down, and volatility has been increasing in commodities markets and financial markets.
The government will continue to work to effectively control the disease and provide support for businesses affected. The government will work to make the 2020 supplementary budget ready for spending as soon as it is passed at the National Assembly. The government will
stay vigilant about the impact of the outbreak on the real economy and the macroeconomic situation, and will be prepared for appropriate responses.
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