Korea: Industrial output growth moderates in February
Industrial output rose 3.9% compared to the same month a year earlier in February in seasonally-adjusted terms, which followed January’s 6.6% increase.
On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, industrial production rose at a faster rate of 0.6% in February (January: +0.3% mom). Meanwhile, annual average industrial production growth rose to 7.7% in February (January: +7.2%). This signals an improving trend in the industrial sector.
Analysts at Nomura note that the pick-up in sequential industrial production growth masks the hit to the services sector arising from February’s surge in Covid-19 cases:
“Industrial production […] growth rose [in sequential terms] in February […], above expectations […] led by chip and electronic components. Solid tech demand sustained the robust [industrial production] growth amid weak auto production growth. However, as the daily average number of virus cases started to surge in February, the winter wave appeared to hit services in February, with hotels and restaurants falling again, extending its decline for three consecutive months despite the continued recovery in retail and wholesale. As a result, all industry production [which includes services, construction and the public sector as well as manufacturing] growth has continued to fall for two consecutive months, suggesting a continued deceleration of economic activity.”