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Korea Industry May 2021

Korea: Industrial output expands at fastest annual pace since June 2010 in May on a base effect, but underlying momentum eases

Industrial output grew 15.6% in year-on-year terms in May, which was above April’s 12.6% increase, mainly due to a favorable base effect. May’s print marked the strongest rise since June 2010. In detail, export-oriented production led the uptick. Meanwhile, domestic-oriented production growth lost some momentum.

On a monthly basis, factory output dropped 0.7% in seasonally-adjusted terms in May, moderating from April’s 1.6% fall and undershooting market expectations, as chip shortages continued to harm the auto sector. Meanwhile, annual average industrial production growth rose to 3.4% in May (April: +1.2% yoy). This signals an improving trend in the industrial sector.

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