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PRESS RELEASES

Exports Continue to Rise while Production and Consumption Rebound

  • DivisionEconomic Policy Bureau - Economic Analysis Division
  • DateJanuary 12, 2018
  • Tel044-215-2736

Current Economic Situation, January 2018

 

Exports Continue to Rise while

Production and Consumption Rebound

 

 

The Korean economy continued to recover as production, consumption and facility investment rebounded due to base effects.  Exports continued to be strong as well.

 

The economy added 253,000 jobs year-on-year in December 2017, the same level as the previous month.  Employment improved in manufacturing and construction, but slowed in services.  In 2017, the economy added 320,000 jobs.

 

Consumer price inflation in December rose 0.2 percentage points from the previous month (up 1.3%up 1.5%, y-o-y) due to an easing effect of electricity rate cut from the same month of the previous year.  In 2017, consumer prices rose 1.9 percent.

 

Mining and manufacturing production edged up in November (down 1.5% up 0.2%, m-o-m) backed by strong automobile and machinery production, and service output rebounded (down 1.9% up 2.5%, m-o-m) due to the release of new smartphones and a rise in stock transactions.

 

Retail sales soared in November (down 2.9% up 5.6%, m-o-m) due to the release of new automobile and smartphone models, as well as high demand for winter clothing amid cold weather.

 

Facility investment rebounded in November (down 14.8% up 10.1%, m-o-m) due to a low base effect from the previous month and increased investment in semiconductor manufacturing equipment.  Construction investment edged down (up 0.6% down 3.8%, m-o-m) as civil engineering works and plant construction fell and housing construction orders slowed.

 

In November, the cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index stayed unchanged from the previous month at 100.4, and the cyclical indicator of the leading composite index dropped 0.1 points to 101.2.

 

Exports increased for the 14th consecutive month in December (up 9.5%→ up 8.9%, y-o-y) backed by strong major export items, such as semiconductors, petroleum products and petrochemicals.  Exports rose to a record high in 2017.

 

In December, KOSPI declined on profit taking, and the dollar-won exchange rate fell amid the weak dollar.  Short-term government bond yields rose.

 

Housing prices grew in December (up 0.13% up 0.11%, m-o-m) as the price growth continued in the Seoul metropolitan area, and Jeonse (lump-sum deposits with no monthly payments) prices fell (up 0.05% down 0.03%, m-o-m) due to seasonal factors.

 

The economy is expected to stay on a recovery path backed by improving global economies and strong exports.  However, internal and external risks linger, such as a slowdown in the service sector employment, trade issues and auto worker strikes.

 

The government will strengthen its risk management, and will work to achieve tangible outcomes in creating jobs and improving the real economy by successfully implementing the 2018 economic policies.

 

 

Key Statistics

 

 

Employment

 

 

2014

2015

2016

2017

Annual

Q3

Q4

Dec

Annual

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Nov

Dec

Number of employed (million)

25.60

25.94

26.24

26.55

26.45

26.17

26.55

25.92

26.75

26.83

26.70

26.85

26.42

Employment rate (%)

60.2

60.6

60.4

61.1

60.7

60.1

60.7

59.4

61.2

61.3

60.9

61.2

60.2

(Seasonally adjusted)

60.2

60.3

60.4

60.5

60.6

60.9

60.7

60.8

60.6

60.6

60.8

60.7

60.9

 

 

Consumer Price Index

 

 

2016

2017

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

y-o-y

1.3

2.0

1.9

2.2

1.9

2.0

1.9

2.2

2.6

2.1

1.8

1.3

1.5

m-o-m

0.1

0.9

0.3

0.0

-0.1

0.1

-0.1

0.2

0.6

0.1

-0.2

-0.7

0.3

 

 

Mining and Manufacturing Production

            (q-o-q, m-o-m, %)

Mining and Manufacturing2

2016

2017

Annual

Q3

Nov

Q2

Q3

Sep

Oct¹

Nov¹

Mining

(q-o-q, m-o-m)

-

0.1

3.1

-2.3

1.6

0.4

-1.5

0.2

(y-o-y)

1.0

0.5

5.4

0.5

3.6

8.7

-6.1

-1.6

Manufacturing

Production

(q-o-q, m-o-m)

-

0.1

3.1

-2.5

1.6

0.5

-1.8

0.1

(y-o-y)

1.0

0.6

5.6

0.4

3.6

8.9

-6.3

-1.8

Shipment

-Domestic consumption

-Exports

0.6

1.3

-0.1

-0.5

-0.3

-0.8

2.9

4.5

0.8

-2.0

-2.1

-1.7

1.9

1.3

2.6

0.1

0.5

-0.3

-1.7

-4.0

0.9

1.7

3.0

0.3

Inventory3

-5.9

-3.2

-1.1

1.9

0.8

-2.1

4.3

-1.7

Average operation ratio

72.6

71.9

73.7

71.5

72.4

72.0

71.3

71.3

Production capacity

(y-o-y)

0.8

1.0

1.7

0.9

0.9

1.1

1.1

0.5

  1. 1. Preliminary
  2. 2. Including mining, manufacturing, electricity and gas industry
  3. 3. End-period

 

 

Service Output

(q-o-q, m-o-m, %)

 

2015

                           2016

2017

Annual

Annual

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3¹

Oct¹

Nov¹

Service

activity index

2.9

3.0

0.2

1.1

1.0

-0.3

0.9

0.6

1.4

-1.9

2.5

  1. 1. Preliminary

 

 

Retail Sales

(q-o-q, m-o-m, %)

 

2015

2016

2017

Annual

Annual

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3¹

Oct¹

Nov¹

Retail sales

-

4.3

-0.2

2.0

-1.2

2.1

-0.5

1.2

1.1

-2.9

5.6

(y-o-y)

2.0

-

5.0

5.9

3.5

2.5

1.9

1.7

4.3

-0.2

6.5

  1. 1. Preliminary

 

 

Facility Investment Index

(q-o-q, m-o-m, %)

 

2015

2016

2017

Annual

Annual

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Oct¹

Nov¹

Facility investment index

6.9

-1.3

-6.5

5.1

-1.9

8.0

5.6

4.4

-0.4

-14.8

10.1

y-o-y

-

-

-7.6

0.6

-4.7

5.9

18.1

17.7

20.6

-3.8

6.3

  1. 1. Preliminary

 

 

Construction Completed

(q-o-q, m-o-m, %)

 

2015

2016

2017

Annual

Annual

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3¹

Oct¹

Nov¹

Construction completed (constant)

5.0

15.4

6.2

2.3

4.2

4.1

5.9

-1.1

0.7

0.6

-3.8

y-o-y

-

-

13.2

15.8

14.5

17.7

17.9

13.6

13.4

-1.8

-1.0

  1.  1. Preliminary

 

 

Composite Index of Coincident and Leading Indicators

 

 

2017

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct¹

Nov¹

Cyclical indicator of coincident composite index

101.0

100.8

100.7

100.7

100.8

101.0

100.4

100.4

(m-o-m, %)

0.0

-0.2

-0.1

0.0

0.1

0.2

-0.6

0.0

Cyclical indicator of leading composite index

101.0

101.2

101.6

101.7

101.8

101.6

101.3

101.2

(m-o-m, %)

0.2

0.2

0.4

0.1

0.1

-0.2

-0.3

-0.1

  1. 1. Preliminary

 

 

Exports and Imports

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

 

2015

2016

2017

Annual

Annual

Q3

Q4

Dec

Annual

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Nov

Dec¹

Exports

526.76

495.43

121.85

132.36

45.07

573.87

132.10

147.20

151.04

143.67

49.62

49.07

(y-o-y)

-8.0

-5.9

-5.0

1.8

6.3

15.8

14.7

16.8

24.0

8.6

9.5

8.9

Average daily exports

1.93

1.81

1.78

1.86

2.18

2.13

1.96

2.21

2.13

2.23

2.07

2.18

Imports

436.50

406.19

102.46

110.59

38.30

478.09

116.25

117.34

120.71

123.10

41.99

43.29

(y-o-y)

-16.9

-6.9

-5.1

4.1

8.0

17.7

23.9

18.2

17.8

11.3

12.7

13.0

Average daily imports

1.60

1.49

1.50

1.56

1.56

1.77

1.72

1.76

1.70

1.91

1.75

1.92

1. Preliminary

 

Please refer to the attached PDF