Economic Bulletin August 2019
The Green Book: Current Economic Trends
Mining and manufacturing improved somewhat in June, along with facility investment. Consumption and services slowed down, as well as construction investment.
Industrial production fell 0.7 percent from the previous month in June due to weak services (up 0.3% → down 1.0%, m-o-m). Mining and manufacturing (down 1.3% → up 0.2%, m-o-m) improved somewhat.
Retail sales (up 0.9% → down 1.6%, m-o-m) went down in June, facility investment (down 7.1% → up 0.4%, m-o-m) climbed somewhat, and construction investment (down 0.9% → down 0.4%, m-o-m) remained weak.
Exports declined 11.0 percent year-on-year in July, staying on a downward trajectory for eight months in a row, as the global semiconductor market remained weak and the US-China trade conflicts continued.
Consumer confidence fell 1.6 points to 95.9 in July, and the business sentiment index (BSI) for the manufacturing sector decreased 2 points to 73, the outlook for August going down 4 points to 71.
The cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index dropped 0.1 points in June to 98.5, and the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index fell 0.2 points to 97.9.
The economy added 299,000 jobs year-on-year in July as service jobs continued to grow. The unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage points to 3.9 percent.
Consumer prices continued to be stable in July, rising 0.6 percent year-on-year, backed by the low prices of fresh food and oil products.
In August KOSPI fell, the won weakened, and Korea treasury yields continued to drop.
Housing prices continued to decline in July (down 0.09%, m-o-m), as well as Jeonse (lump-sum deposits with no monthly payments) prices (down 0.19%, m-o-m). Housing transactions continued to fall.
Although the Korean economy grew steadily in the second quarter of 2019, exports and investment had not picked up. Uncertainties, such as Japan’s trade curbs and deepening trade conflicts between the US and China, have been added to the economy suffering weak global demand, including the semiconductor market.
The government will be fully prepared for external risks, including Japan’s trade curbs, successfully implement the frontloaded spending of the supplementary budget, and work to boost the economy through measures to promote investment, exports and consumption.
- 2019 supplementary budget passed
Economic News Briefing
- Korea’s external debt amounts to US $462.1 billion as of H1 2019
- Korea attends 27th RCEP talks
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