Korea: Industrial output posts quickest annual growth since February 2020 in January
March 2, 2021
Industrial output expanded 7.5% in year-on-year terms in January, which was well above December's 2.5% increase. January's print marked the strongest rise since February 2020. The uptick was driven by robust manufacturing production. However, the headline reading was also flattered by a favorable base effect, as the Lunar New Year holidays fell in January last year, resulting in fewer working days.
On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, factory output fell 1.6% in January (December: +2.7% mom), the worst result since May 2020. Meanwhile, the trend improved, with the annual average variation of industrial production coming in at plus 0.7% in January, contrasting December's minus 0.2%. Meanwhile, the average capacity utilization rate decreased from the previous month.