South Korean industrial output contracts for three months

January 31st, 2012 - 1:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Seoul, Jan 31 (IANS) South Korea’s industrial output contracted for three straight months in December last year amid lingering concerns over Eurozone debt crisis and global economic downturn, a government report showed Tuesday.

Output in mining, manufacturing and electricity and gas sectors diminished 0.9 percent in December from a month earlier after shrinking 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent respectively in November and October, according to Statistics Korea.

The industrial production expanded 2.8 percent on-year last month, marking the 30th straight month of on-year growth, but the output growth was slower than 5.8 percent on-year expansion tallied in November, reported Xinhua.

The December on-month contraction came as weak demand for beverage and primary metal outweighed strong performance in audio and video equipment and non-metallic minerals, according to the report.

Production in beverage shrank 15 percent on-month in December, with those of primary metal and chemical products falling 2.3 percent and 1.9 percent respectively.

Shipment in the mining firms and manufacturers grew 0.4 percent on-month in December due to solid performance in chips and parts, while inventory in the sector expanded 2.8 percent over the same period.

Local manufacturers operated at an average capacity of 77.6 percent last month, down 1.5 percentage points from the previous month. The factory utilization rate stood at 82.2 percent a year earlier.

Production in the service industry stayed unchanged in December from a month before as upswings in transportation and education sectors were offset by downswings in wholesale and retail and finance and insurance sectors, according to the report.

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