The Green Book: Current Economic Trends
The Korean economy has seen employment steadily increase, inflation
slightly slow down, and real economic indicators improve, but
volatility has increased in financial markets due to external
Employment stayed in good shape in April, increasing by more than 400,000
mainly in the service sector helped by full-time job increases. The
unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent from 3.7 percent in the
Consumer prices in May increased 2.5 percent, staying within a 2 percent
range for three successive months with a 2.5 percent increase in
April and 2.6 percent in March, backed by core inflation which
slowed down to 1.6 percent from 1.8 percent in the previous month
and a decrease in the prices of agricultural, livestock &
fishery products and oil.
Mining and manufacturing production rose 0.9 percent month-on-month in
April due to an increase in pharmaceutical and machinery equipment
production while service output was 0.2 percent up compared to the
previous month, helped by an increase in hotels & restaurants
and wholesale & retail sales.
In April, retail sales climbed 1.0 percent month-on-month despite a
slip in semi-durable and non-durable goods sales, since durable
goods sales rose led by strong automobile sales.
Facility investment in April rose 4.5 percent from a month before due to an
increase in machinery investment while construction investment
dropped 5.2 percent compared to the previous month due to a
decrease in building construction and civil engineering works.
May exports fell 0.4 percent year-on-year due to a base effect, but the
current account balance continues to post a surplus of more than
US$ 2.0 billion with US$ 2.40 billion in May and US$ 2.12 billion a
The cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index in April fell
0.2 points from a month ago as the value of construction completion
decreased. The leading composite index remained unchanged from the
In May, Korea's stock prices and other financial indexes fluctuated,
as anxieties surrounding the eurozone crisis, especially in Greece
and Spain, have spread into the global financial market.
In May, housing prices remained flat compared to the previous month,
while rent prices increased 0.2 percent, decelerating from the
previous month's 0.5 percent.
External uncertainties are mounting due to the possibility that the eurozone
crisis may deteriorate and that the US and other advanced economies
may likely suffer an economic slowdown.
The Korean government will closely monitor any changes in domestic and
global economic situations and their subsequent outcomes, while
reinforcing policy actions to improve the economy and keep prices
stable. At the same time, the government will accelerate efforts to
secure the livelihoods of citizens through job creation and
stabilization of necessity prices, and to promote economic
Economic News Briefing :
- Korea Grows 0.9% in Q1
- Korea pledges US$15 Billion to IMF
- Korea, Chinaand Japan to Negotiate FTA
- Korea and China launch FTA negotiations
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