MANUFACTURING | Staff Reporter, Korea

South Korea's industrial output up 1.4% in March

The electronics giant has been showing a slowdown in MoM declines.

South Korea’s industrial production jumped 1.4% MoM in March, beating the 1% consensus expectation.

Robert Carnell, chief economist and head of research, Asia Pacific, ING, commented, “One reason not to get too excited is that Korean production data exhibits what one might describe as a negatively autocorrelated process. Or in English, it ’saw-tooths'. Almost (though not quite) without exception, a good month is followed by a bad month. March was due a bounce. What is noteworthy, is that this seems (based on eyeballing a few moving average series), to be showing some slowdown in the rate of month-on-month decline.”

March exports also fell a bit less than the February figures, down 8.2% YoY from an 11.4% fall in February.

“But looking at a series of moving average trends, it is less clear that this series is turning the corner,” Carnell said. “20-day preliminary export data for April are also down 8.7% YoY, worse than at the same point in February, and suggest that the export picture remains difficult.”

According to the economist, however, Korean business surveys for May posted small 1-point increases for both manufacturing and non-manufacturing.

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