Korea: Industrial production wobbles again in March
Industrial production in the mining, manufacturing, and gas and electricity sectors dipped 2.8% over the same month a year prior in March, following the revised 3.4% decline registered in February (previously reported: -2.7% year-on-year). Meanwhile, the less-volatile average annual growth in industrial production inched down to 1.1% in March from 1.2% in February.
Output in the manufacturing sector—which accounts for the majority of industrial production—continued to fall in March, albeit at a softer pace than in February (March: -2.9% yoy; February: -3.5% yoy). The decline in manufacturing came on the back of a second consecutive drop in both production and shipments, while inventory levels decreased in the month. Meanwhile, the average factory capacity utilization rate increased to 71.5% in March from 70.5% in February.
A month-on-month comparison adjusted for seasonality paints a slightly rosier picture, with industrial production increasing 1.4% in March, contrasting the 2.6% drop recorded in February.