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2019 ECONOMIC POLICIES
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Current Economic Situation, May 2020

  • DivisionEconomic Policy Bureau - Economic Analysis Division
  • DateMay 15, 2020
  • Tel0442152730

Current Economic Situation, May 2020

 

Manufacturing and Construction Improve,

Services and Retail Sales Falling

 

Mining and manufacturing improved from the previous month in March, as well as facilities investment and construction investment.  Service output and retail sales slowed down.

 

Industrial production fell 0.3 percent from the previous month in March.  Mining and manufacturing rose (up 4.6%, m-o-m and up 7.1%, y-o-y), while service output fell (down 4.4%, m-o-m and down 5.0%, y-o-y).  Industrial production rose 0.6 percent year on year.

 

Retail sales went down in March (down 1.0%, m-o-m and down 8.0%, y-o-y), and facilities investment (up 7.9%, m-o-m and up 9.8%, y-o-y) and construction investment (up 2.6%, m-o-m and up 1.5%, y-o-y) improved.

 

Exports fell 24.3 percent year-on-year in April due to weak demand and production disruption, as well as falling oil prices and fewer days worked (2 days).  Average daily exports, an indicator calculated according to the days worked, fell (US $2.03 billion (Apr 2019) US $1.68 billion (Apr 2020)).

 

The consumer sentiment index (CSI) dropped 7.6 points in April to 70.8.  The business sentiment index (BSI) for the manufacturing sector fell 4 points to 52, and the BSI outlook for May went down 4 points to 50. 

 

The cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index for March fell 1.2 points to 98.6, and the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index dropped 0.6 points to 99.6.

 

The economy lost 476,000 jobs year-on-year in April due to weak services and manufacturing.  The unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points from a year ago to 4.2 percent.

 

Consumer prices rose 0.1 percent year-on-year in April due to low oil product and public service prices.  Fresh food prices grew slowly.  Core inflation rose 0.3 percent.

 

KOSPI rose in April with confirmed cases of COVID-19 declining.  The won strengthened somewhat and Korea treasury yields fell.

 

Housing prices rose slowly in April (up 0.54% up 0.27%, m-o-m), as well as Jeonse (lump-sum deposits with no monthly payments) prices (up 0.19% up 0.11%, m-o-m).

 

The economy has seen domestic demand declining and employment falling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  Exports continued to slow down. 

 

Volatility in global financial markets has eased as economic activities resume in major countries, but worries linger over global recession, major countries’ economic indicators not yet picking up and uncertainties surrounding emerging economies.

 

The government will do its utmost to fast overcome the effect of the pandemic, including shocks to the job market.  The Central Economic Response Headquarters, a ministerial-level meeting, will ensure close ministerial cooperation. 

 

 

 

Key Statistics

 

Employment

 

 

2017

2018

2019

2020

Annual

Annual

Q3

Q4

Annual

Q1

Q2

Apr

Q3

Q4

Q1

Mar

Apr

Number of employed (million)

26.73

26.82

27.02

26.97

27.12

26.46

27.26

27.04

27.38

27.39

26.75

26.61

26.56

Employment rate (%)

60.8

60.7

61.1

60.9

60.9

59.6

61.3

60.8

61.5

61.4

59.9

59.5

59.4

(Seasonally adjusted)

60.8

60.7

60.6

60.7

60.9

60.8

60.8

60.7

60.9

61.2

61.1

60.0

59.3

 

 

Consumer Price Index

 

(%)

 

2019

2020

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

y-o-y

0.6

0.7

0.7

0.6

0.0

-0.4

0.0

0.2

0.7

1.5

1.1

1.0

0.1

m-o-m

0.4

0.2

-0.2

-0.3

0.2

0.4

0.2

-0.6

0.2

0.6

0.0

-0.2

-0.6

 

 

Mining and Manufacturing

 

(Percentage change from the previous period, %)

Mining and Manufacturing2

2019

2020

Annual

Q1

Mar

Q4

Q1¹

Jan

Feb¹

Mar¹

Mining

(q-o-q,

m-o-m)

-

-2.2

1.5

1.1

-0.1

-1.5

-3.8

4.6

(y-o-y)

-0.1

-2.4

-2.5

2.2

4.9

-2.8

11.3

7.1

Manufacturing

Production

(q-o-q,

m-o-m)

-

-2.4

1.7

1.3

-0.1

-1.5

-4.0

4.6

(y-o-y)

0.1

-2.2

-2.7

2.4

5.3

-2.6

11.9

7.6

Inventory³

-2.9

-4.1

-2.1

-2.7

4.2

4.2

0.6

-0.6

Shipments

-0.6

-1.3

-1.0

-0.6

-2.1

-4.0

-3.0

6.4

Average operation ratio

73.2

71.9

71.7

74.1

73.4

75.3

70.7

74.1

Production capacity (y-o-y)

-0.1

0.6

0.7

0.1

1.1

0.8

1.2

1.3

1. Preliminary

2. Including mining, manufacturing, and electricity and gas supply

3. End-period

 

 

 

 

Service Output

 

(Percentage change from the previous period, %)

 

2017

2018

2019

2020

Annual

Annual

Q3

Q4

Annual

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1¹

Jan

Feb¹

Mar¹

Service output

1.9

2.3

0.3

0.1

1.4

0.3

0.3

0.6

0.7

-3.0

0.5

-3.5

-4.4

1. Preliminary

 

 

Retail Sales

 

(Percentage change from the previous period, %)

 

2017

2018

2019

2020

Annual

Annual

Annual

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1¹

Jan

Feb¹

Mar¹

Retail sales

1.9

4.3

2.4

0.9

0.5

0.3

1.9

 -6.4

-3.1

-6.0

-1.0

y-o-y

-

-

-

1.6

2.0

2.2

3.4

-2.9

1.8

-2.3

-8.0

1. Preliminary

 

 

Facility Investment Index

 

(Percentage change from the previous period, %)

 

2017

2018

2019

2020

Annual

Annual

Annual

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1¹

Jan

Feb¹

Mar¹

Facility investment index

14.4

-3.6

-6.2

-5.0

3.2

1.0

4.3

-3.5

-6.8

-5.2

7.9

y-o-y

-

-

-

-18.7

-6.7

-1.9

3.7

6.5

-4.1

15.1

9.8

1. Preliminary

 

Construction Completed

 

 

(Percentage change from the previous period, %)

 

2017

2018

2019

2020

Annual

Annual

Annual

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1¹

Jan

Feb¹

Mar¹

Construction completed (constant)

11.4

-4.2

-6.9

1.0

-1.8

-3.5

1.0

3.6

0.8

-2.6

2.6

y-o-y

-

-

-

-10.2

-6.8

-8.2

-2.9

-0.2

-7.1

5.3

1.5

 1. Preliminary

 

 

Composite Indices of Coincident and Leading Indicators

 

 

2019

2020

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan¹

Feb¹

Mar¹

Cyclical indicator of coincident composite index

99.9

100.0

100.0

99.9

100.2

100.5

99.8

98.6

m-o-m (points)

0.1

0.1

0.0

-0.1

0.3

0.3

-0.7

-1.2

Cyclical indicator of leading composite index

98.9

99.1

99.4

99.8

100.2

100.3

100.3

99.6

m-o-m (points)

-0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.4

0.1

0.0

-0.6

1. Preliminary

 

Exports and Imports

 

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

 

2017

2018

2019

2020

Annual

Annual

Annual

Q1

Q2

Apr

Q3

Q4

Dec

Q1

Apr¹

Exports

573.69

604.86

542.22

132.65

138.49

48.78

134.73

136.36

45.67

130.81

46.91

(y-o-y, %)

15.8

5.4

-10.4

-8.5

-8.7

-2.1

-12.3

-11.8

-5.3

-1.4

-24.3

Average daily exports

2.13

2.24

1.99

2.03

2.02

2.03

1.95

1.96

1.99

1.92

1.68

Imports

478.48

535.20

503.34

123.80

128.77

45.05

124.96

125.81

43.69

122.08

37.87

(y-o-y, %)

17.8

11.9

-6.0

-6.5

-3.3

3.1

-4.1

-9.7

-0.8

-1.4

-15.9

Average daily imports

1.78

1.98

1.85

1.89

1.88

1.88

1.81

1.81

1.90

1.80

1.72

1. Preliminary

 

Please refer to the attached pdf

 

Ministry of Economy and Finance
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