The Green Book: Current Economic Trends
Although the Korean economy has seen
employment steadily improving, some real economic indicators such as
mining and manufacturing production and retail sales have posted poor
performance amid continuing high inflationary pressures.
Employment continued to rise in December,
led by the service sector and with an increase in regular workers,
adding 441,000 jobs, while the employment rate and the unemployment
rate stayed in good shape at 58.5 percent and 3.0 percent,
Consumer price inflation declined to 3.4
percent in January from the previous month's 4.2 percent, as a rise
in core inflation slowed down from 3.6 percent to 3.2 percent helped
by stabilized manufactured goods prices. However, expected inflation
edged up from 4.0 percent to 4.1 percent.
Mining and manufacturing production
declined 0.9 percent month-on-month in December due to a fall in
beverages and steel, but service output stayed flat as strong
education offset weak wholesale & retail sales and hotels &
In December retail sales fell 0.2 percent
from the previous month, as durable goods sales, in particular
automobiles, decreased, despite an improvement in non-durable and
semidurable goods sales.
Facilities investment increased 0.5
percent month-on-month in December with rising machinery investment,
while construction investment rose 14.8 percent as both building
construction and civil engineering works went up.
Trade posted a decline in January for the
first time since October 2009, down 6.6 percent year-on-year, and the
trade balance swung to a deficit of US$1.96 billion.
The cyclical indicator of the coincident
composite index fell 0.1 point from the previous month in December,
as the mining and manufacturing production index went down. The
leading composite index rose year-on-year for the second consecutive
In January, the financial market
stabilized to some extent compared with the previous month, as
improving indicators from US and China eased volatility in
international financial markets.
The gap in the housing market between the
Seoul metropolitan area and other areas has continued, while housing
sales prices remained unchanged and rent prices slightly increased.
External uncertainties have continued to
remain high with the ongoing European debt crisis, a possible
slowdown in the global economy and worries over a rise in
international oil prices.
The Korean government will closely monitor
any changes in local and global economic situations and the
subsequent outcome, while reinforcing policy actions to help the
continue to recover and keep prices stable. In the meantime, it will
securing the livelihoods of citizens through active
job creation and stabilization of prices of necessities, and
push on with economic restructuring and expansion of domestic demand.
Policy Issues :
- 2012 KTB issuance policies
Economic News Briefing :
- Korea grows 0.4% in Q4 (Advanced)
- Bank of Korea wins approval to invest in Chinese financial market
- Effects of Korea-EU FTA
- Korea announces 2012 policy for foreign residents
- Foreign investment in Korea's stock and bond market
- FDI rises 4.6% in 2011
- Korea expands R&D support to IT industry
- Korea plans to boost trade to US$ 2 trillion by 2020
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