Korea: Industrial production falls in December
Industrial production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity sectors decreased 6.0% in December compared to the same month last year, more than the revised 1.7% decrease in November (previously reported: -1.6% year-on-year). The reading in December was below market analyst expectations of a 1.4% contraction. Annual average growth in industrial production slowed from 1.7% in November to 0.8% in December.
Union strikes took place in December at Hyundai, the country’s largest carmaker, reducing total automobile production in Korea compared to the same month a year earlier. In part due to this, the manufacturing sector contracted in December, pushing industrial production to decrease year-on-year. The average factory capacity utilization rate decreased from a revised 71.2% in November (previously reported: 71.3%) to 70.4% in December.
A month-on-month comparison adjusted for seasonality shows that industrial production fell 0.5% in December, contrasting growth of 0.2% in November.