S. Korea’s industrial production hits 26-month low on soft auto, machinery

S. Korea’s industrial production hits 26-month low on soft auto, machinery

SEOUL, April 30 (Xinhua) — Industrial production in South Korea hit the lowest in 26 months on soft activities in the automobile and machinery sectors, a government report showed Monday.

Production in all industries declined 1.2 percent in March from a month ago, marking the lowest since January 2016, according to Statistics Korea.

Output in the mining and manufacturing industries shrank 2.5 percent on weak activities in the car and machinery sectors, which offset a brisk activity in the semiconductor industry.

Manufacturers posted a factory utilization rate of 70.3 percent in March, down 1.8 percentage points from a month earlier. It was the lowest in nine years.

Facility investment slumped 7.8 percent, the first negative growth in five months.

Retail sales, which reflect private consumption, gained 2.7 percent in March, keeping an upward momentum for the third consecutive month amid the ongoing economic policy focusing on increased household income.

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