Korea: Industrial production increases in May for the second consecutive month
Industrial production in the mining, manufacturing, and gas and electricity sectors increased 0.9% in May compared to the same month last year, more than April’s revised expansion of 0.8% (previously reported: +0.9% year-on-year). However, amid weak readings in recent months—there were notable contractions recorded in February and March—the average annual change in industrial production deteriorated to a 0.1% contraction in May from April’s still reading.
Output in the manufacturing sector increased 0.8% in May, up from 0.6% in April. This was primarily due to a build-up in manufacturers’ inventory levels, but it was also driven by increased output for sale abroad. Output for sale in Korea increased only very mildly in May. Meanwhile, the average factory capacity utilization rate rose to 73.9% in May from 72.4% in April.
A month-on-month comparison adjusted for seasonality shows that industrial production rose 1.1% in May, less than the 3.1% increase in April.