Employment stayed in good shape in February, increasing by 447,000 mainly in the service
sector helped by full-time job increases.
Consumer price inflation fell in March to a 2 percent range (from 3.1 percent the month
before to 2.6 percent) for the first time since August 2010, driven by a slowdown in the pace
of core inflation from 2.5 percent to 1.9 percent, but destabilizing factors remain such as
rising prices of international oil and agricultural products.
Mining and manufacturing production rose 0.8 percent month-on-month in February due to
an improvement in semiconductors & processed metals production, while service output
increased 0.9 percent compared to the previous month thanks to the financial & insurance
In February retail sales went 2.6 percent higher than a month ago, as semi-durable and nondurable
goods sales climbed even with a decline in durable goods sales.
Despite a rise in transportation equipment investment, facilities investment dropped 5.4
percent month-on-month in February due to a fall in machinery investment. Construction
investment rose 10.7 percent compared to the previous month as both building construction
and civil engineering works went up.
March exports slightly fell 1.4 percent year-on-year due to a base effect, but the current
account balance continues to post a surplus, rising to US$2.33 billion from the previous
month’s US$1.52 billion.
The cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index in February gained 0.5 points from a
month ago with all components increasing. The leading composite index went up 0.5 points
month-on-month backed by construction order increases.
In March, foreign capital inflows into the domestic financial market slowed down as the
demand for flight to safety weakened against the backdrop of economic recovery
expectations in major countries.
In March, housing prices continued to diverge between the Seoul metropolitan area and
other areas, while rent prices rose at a slightly faster pace.
External uncertainties have continued to remain high due to the ongoing European debt
crisis and 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 economy
continue to recover and keep prices stable. At the same time, the government will focus on
securing the livelihoods of citizens through active job creation and stabilization of the prices
of necessities, while also pursuing economic restructuring and boosting domestic demand.
Policy Issues :
- Yeosu Declaration as a Legacy of the EXPO 2012 Yeosu Korea
Economic News Briefing :
- Korea Grows 3.6% in 2011
- Nuclear Security Summit Held in Seoul
- Moody’s Raises Korea’s Credit Rating Outlook
- Q1 FDI Posts Highest Level Since 2008 Crisis
- Korea-Turkey FTA Joint Statement
- Korea Plans Fund to Aid Latin American Countries
- Korea Opens Online Spot Market for Oil Products
* For full text, please open the attached PDF file.