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PRESS RELEASES

Current Economic Situation, April 2019

  • DivisionEconomic Policy Bureau - Economic Analysis Division
  • DateApril 12, 2019
  • Tel0442152736

Current Economic Situation, April 2019

 

Industrial Activities Slow Down,

Employment Improving and Consumer Prices Stable

 

 

Industrial activities slowed down due to fewer days worked in February.  Employment continued to grow significantly in March and consumer prices remained stable.

 

Industrial production fell in February (down 1.9%, m-o-m) as mining and manufacturing (down 2.6%, m-o-m), service output (down 1.1%, m-o-m) and construction completed (down 4.6%, m-o-m) all declined.

 

Consumption and investment slowed in February:  Retail sales fell (up 0.1% → down 0.5%, m-o-m) as well as facility investment (up 1.9% → down 10.4%, m-o-m) and construction completed (up 3.3% → down 4.6%, m-o-m). 

 

Exports remained weak in March, falling 8.2 percent year-on-year amid global economies slowing down, as well as due to weak semiconductors.

 

The consumer sentiment index (CSI) improved for the fourth consecutive month in March, up 0.3 points to 99.8, and the business sentiment index (BSI) improved 4 points to 73.  The BSI outlook remained unchanged for April at 76. 

 

The cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index fell 0.4 points in February to 98.7, and the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index declined 0.3points to 98.3.

 

The economy added 250,000 jobs in March backed by an increase in service jobs and government’s employment programs.  Manufacturing jobs continued to decline but at a slower pace.  The unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 4.3 percent compared with a year ago.

 

Consumer prices in March rose 0.4 percent compared to a year ago, fresh food and oil prices being stable and personal service prices growing at a slow pace.

 

In March, KOSPI declined and the won weakened.  Treasury bond yields fell.

 

Housing prices continued to decline in March (down 0.12% → down 0.16%, m-o-m), as well as Jeonse (lump-sum deposits with no monthly payments) prices (down 0.22% → down 0.25%, m-o-m).  Housing transactions fell.

 

The economy has to deal with the global economic slowdown and weak semiconductor markets, and uncertainties linger amid US-China trade conflicts and Brexit.

 

In seasonally adjusted terms which exclude the Lunar New Year Holiday effect, service output continued to improve for the January-February period, while other major indicators fell, including mining and manufacturing production, facility investment and exports.

 

The government will fast draw up supplementary budgets, and will strengthen its risk management.  The government will work to successfully implement the measures announced to promote investment and ventures, encourage exporters and improve regulations.

 

 

 

Key Statistics

 

 

Employment

 

 

2016

2017

2018

2019

Annual

Q3

Q4

Annual

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Mar

Feb

Mar

Number of employed (million)

26.41

26.73

27.00

26.88

26.82

26.28

27.02

27.02

26.97

26.56

26.35

26.81

Employment rate (%)

60.6

60.8

61.4

61.0

60.7

59.6

61.2

61.1

60.9

60.2

59.4

60.4

(Seasonally adjusted)

60.6

60.8

60.8

60.9

60.7

60.9

60.7

60.5

60.7

60.9

61.0

61.0

 

 

Consumer Price Index

 

 

2018

2019

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

y-o-y

1.2

1.5

1.5

1.5

1.1

1.4

2.1

2.0

2.0

1.3

0.8

0.5

0.4

m-o-m

-0.1

0.2

0.0

-0.2

-0.2

0.9

0.8

-0.2

-0.7

-0.3

-0.1

0.4

-0.2

 

 

Mining and Manufacturing Production

            (q-o-q, m-o-m, %)

Mining and Manufacturing2

2017

2018

2019

Annual

Feb

Q4

Annual¹

Feb

Q3

Q4

Jan¹

Feb¹

Mining

(q-o-q, m-o-m)

-

-2.8

-0.1

-

0.5

0.8

-1.5

0.2

-2.6

(y-o-y)

2.4

8.9

-2.7

1.3

-5.7

0.1

4.3

-0.2

-2.7

Manufacturing

Production

(q-o-q, m-o-m)

-

-3.3

0.1

-

0.5

0.6

-1.4

0.3

-2.6

(y-o-y)

2.2

9.3

-3.5

1.2

-6.1

-0.1

4.6

0.0

-2.5

Inventory³

8.8

0.4

2.9

  7.3

1.0

-1.2

5.7

-1.6

0.5

Shipments

0.7

-1.8

0.4

-0.2

-0.2

0.9

-1.5

1.1

-2.1

Average operation ratio

73.3

72.8

72.8

73.5

73.5

74.2

73.1

73.3

71.2

Production capacity (y-o-y)

1.2

1.7

0.8

-0.2

0.1

-0.2

-0.3

-0.3

-0.7

1. Preliminary

2. Including mining, manufacturing, electricity and gas industry

3. End-period

 

 

 

Service Output

(q-o-q, m-o-m, %)

 

2016

2017

2018

2019

Annual

Annual

Q3

Q4

Annual

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Dec

Jan¹

Feb¹

Service

activity index

2.6

1.9

1.1

0.0

2.1

0.9

0.4

0.3

0.4

-0.1

1.1

-1.1

1. Preliminary

 

 

Retail Sales

(q-o-q, m-o-m, %)

 

2016

2017

2018

2019

Annual

Annual

Q3

Q4

Annual¹

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Dec

Jan¹

Feb¹

Retail sales

3.9

1.9

0.6

1.6

4.3

2.1

0.6

-0.2

-0.1

-0.2

0.1

-0.5

(y-o-y)

-

-

3.0

3.0

-

5.4

5.0

4.2

2.5

3.1

4.1

-2.0

1. Preliminary

 

 

Facility Investment Index

(q-o-q, m-o-m, %)

 

2016

2017

2018

2019

Annual

Annual

Q3

Q4

Annual

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Dec

Jan¹

Feb¹

Facility investment index

-1.3

14.1

0.2

-1.7

-3.8

7.1

-7.6

-7.7

0.0

-2.8

1.9

-10.4

y-o-y

-

-

20.6

2.0

-

10.2

-4.8

-13.5

-6.0

-15.1

-17.0

-26.9

1. Preliminary

 

 

Construction Completed

(q-o-q, m-o-m, %)

 

2016

2017

2018

2019

Annual

Annual

Q3

Q4

Annual

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Dec

Jan¹

Feb¹

Construction completed (constant)

15.4

10.5

0.1

0.1

-5.3

0.8

-4.1

-3.8

-3.7

2.2

3.3

-4.6

y-o-y

-

-

12.9

0.1

-

0.8

-3.5

-9.7

-7.9

-9.3

-10.9

-10.6

 1. Preliminary

 

 

Composite Indices of Coincident and Leading Indicators

 

 

2018

2019

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec¹

Jan¹

Feb¹

Cyclical indicator of coincident composite index

100.0

99.9

99.7

99.6

99.3

99.2

99.1

98.7

(m-o-m, points)

-0.2

-0.2

-0.2

-0.1

-0.3

-0.1

-0.1

-0.4

Cyclical indicator of leading composite index

100.3

99.9

99.6

99.3

99.1

98.9

98.6

98.3

(m-o-m, points)

-0.1

-0.4

-0.3

-0.3

-0.2

-0.2

-0.3

-0.3

1. Preliminary

 

 

Exports and Imports

(US$ billion, y-o-y, %)

 

2016

2017

2018

2019

Annual

Annual

Annual

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Mar

Feb

Mar¹

Exports

495.43

573.69

604.86

145.05

151.62

153.64

154.55

51.31

39.44

47.11

(y-o-y)

-5.9

15.8

5.4

9.8

3.1

1.7

7.7

5.5

-11.4

-8.2

Average daily exports

1.81

2.13

2.24

2.16

2.30

2.28

2.22

2.18

2.08

2.09

Imports

406.19

478.48

535.20

132.43

133.15

130.31

139.31

44.90

36.47

41.89

(y-o-y)

-6.9

17.8

11.9

13.7

13.0

7.8

12.9

5.4

-12.6

-6.7

Average daily imports

1.49

1.78

1.98

1.98

2.02

1.93

2.00

1.91

1.92

1.86

1. Preliminary

 

Please refer to the attached PDF.