Economic Bulletin September 2020
The Green Book: Current Economic Trends
Manufacturing and service output continued to improve in July, completed construction
works picking up. Retail sales and facilities investment went down.
Industrial production rose 0.1 percent from the previous month in July. Mining and
manufacturing improved (up 1.6%, m-o-m and down 2.5%, y-o-y), as well as service output
(up 0.3%, m-o-m and down 1.3%, y-o-y). Industrial production fell 1.6 percent year on year..
Retail sales (down 6.0%, m-o-m and up 0.5%, y-o-y) and facilities investment (down 2.2%,
m-o-m and up 6.7%, y-o-y) dropped in July. Completed construction works (up 1.5%,
m-o-m and down 0.6%, y-o-y) picked up.
Exports fell 9.9 percent year-on-year in August, the fall getting steeper from a 7.1 percent
drop in the previous month partly due to fewer days worked (1.5 days). Average daily
exports, an indicator calculated according to the days worked, fell from a year ago (US
$1.87 billion (August 2019) → US $1.80 billion (August 2020)).
The consumer sentiment index (CSI) improved 4.0 points in August to 88.2. The business
sentiment index (BSI) for the manufacturing sector rose 7 points to 66, and the BSI outlook
for September went up 7 points to 68.
The cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index for July increased 0.2 points to
97.2, and the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index improved 0.4 points to 100.3.
The economy lost 274,000 jobs year-on-year in August. Job loss slowed from 277,000 of
the previous month as service jobs and construction jobs declined at a slower rate. The
unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage points from a year ago to 3.1 percent.
Consumer prices rose 0.7 percent from a year ago in August. Farm product prices soared
due to heavy rains. Core inflation rose 0.8 percent.
KOSPI rose in August on expectations of economic recovery at home and abroad. The won
strengthened and Korea treasury yields rose on concerns over rising issuance.
Housing prices rose slowly in August (up 0.61% → up 0.47%, m-o-m), and Jeonse (lumpsum
deposits with no monthly payments) prices showed a steeper slope (up 0.32% → up
Although the economy showed signs of recovery as exports and manufacturing
improve, the recovery has faltered due to strengthened social distancing amid worries
over the resurgence of COVID-19.
Major economies’ indicators have been improving, but at a slow rate as the pandemic
The government will renew its disease prevention efforts and work to support businesses
and households hit by social distancing through emergency assistance programs, including
those financed by the 4th extra budget.
- 2021 budget proposal
Economic News Briefing
- Government’s foreign bonds issued successfully in dollars and euros
- Government releases long-term fiscal outlooks to 2060
- National Assembly approves 4th extra budget
- GDP falls 2.7% in Q2 2020
- Korean FDI posts US $12.14 billion for Q2 2020
- Korea to launch Korean New Deal Fund
* For full text, please open the attached PDF file.