South Korea industrial output rises in April

south koreaSouth Korea’s industrial output rose in April for the first time in four months, fanning hopes of a recovery in an economy that posted its slowest growth for three years in 2012.

Production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries for April rose 0.8 percent from March, state-run Statistics Korea said Thursday.

The April growth figure, which was up 1.7 percent from a year earlier, snapped three months of consecutive contraction in industrial output that began in January.

Robust mining production bolstered the overall output by expanding 17.1 percent on-month in April, compared to just 3.1 percent in March. Manufacturing production also rose 0.7 percent from a month earlier.

South Korea’s export-driven economy has been hit by slow global demand and a weak yen that has blunted South Korean exporters’ price competitiveness against Japanese rivals in global markets.

Seoul’s finance ministry in March cut the country’s growth forecast for this year to 2.3 percent, down from its December estimate of 3 percent.

The Bank of Korea also slashed a key interest rate in March for the first time for seven months, after lowering its 2012 growth forecast to 2.6 percent from the previous estimate of 2.8 percent.

Asia’s fourth-largest economy expanded 2 percent for 2012 — the slowest growth for three years — after growing 3.6 percent in 2011.




Source : Channel News Asia | 30 May 2013


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