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SUBJECT Economic Bulletin December 2012
DATE 2012-12-24
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Economic Bulletin  December 2012

The Green Book: Current Economic Trends


The Korean economy has seen inflation and employment remain stable, with mining and manufacturing production and exports rising, but consumption and investment edged down.

In October, the economy added 396,000 jobs year-on-year, with the employment rate and jobless rate both improving.
Consumer prices in November rose 1.6 percent year-on-year, with agricultural product prices and petroleum product prices stabilizing due to benign weather conditions and a fall in international oil prices.

Mining and manufacturing production went up 0.6 percent in October month-on-month thanks to a rise in semiconductor and automobile production while service output declined.

1.0 percent compared to the previous month due to a fall in wholesale & retail and financial & insurance services.
In October, retail sales fell 0.8 percent from a month ago as non-durable goods fell despite a rise in durable goods and semi-durable goods sales.

The facility investment index in October fell 2.9 percent compared to the previous month as machinery and transportation equipment investment fell. Construction investment slipped 1.5 percent due to a fall in civil engineering works.

Export growth in November accelerated to 3.9 percent, up from the previous month’s 1.1 thanks to a rise in exports to China and the ASEAN countries. The current account remained in the black, at US $4.48 billion.

The cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index in October decreased 0.5 points while the leading composite index fell 0.3 points month-on-month.

In November, stock prices, bond yields and the value of the Korean won all rose as risk aversion has been reduced amid an upturn in major economies’ economic indicators.

Housing prices in November declined 0.1 percent, decelerating from the previous month’s 0.2 percent. Growth in rental prices slowed down to 0.5 percent from the previous month’s 0.6 percent.

Global uncertainties, such as the US fiscal cliff, continue while domestic uncertainties also persist as consumption and investment sentiment have been slow to recover.

The Korean government will closely monitor the global and domestic economy, while reinforcing policy responses to stimulate the economy.

At the same time, the government will focus on stabilizing the lives of the low- and middleincome classes through job creation and by stabilizing the prices of necessities, while continuing to carry out policy actions to improve the health of the economy.

Policy Issues : 

Korean Government to Improve Foreign Capital Stability

Economic News Briefing : 

- Korea grows 0.1% in Q3
- OECD forecasts 3.1% growth for Korea next year
- Korea-China to use currency swap for trade settlements
- Korea’s trade exceeds US$1 trillion for second straight year
- Service account posts first surplus in 14 years
- Consolidated fiscal balance shows surplus of 3.7 trillion won in Q3

Statistical Appendix

 * For full text, please open the attached PDF file.