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Industrial power consumption growth hits 2-year high in Q2

All News 11:00 July 27, 2016

SEJONG, July 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's industrial electricity sales in the second quarter grew at the fastest pace in nearly two years on the back of a recovery in the chipmaking and oil refinery sectors, the government said Wednesday.

The amount of electricity consumed by the country's industrial sector reached 69.55 billion kilowatt-hours in the April-June period, up 1.6 percent from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The on-year growth in the second quarter marked the largest gain since the third quarter of 2014, when it posted a 2.5-percent jump.

The figure also continued in an upbeat mode for the second consecutive quarter, following a 1.5-percent on-year rise in the first quarter.

Industrial electricity sales are often considered a barometer of industrial activity as companies use more power when business is good and cut back when demand is low.

The on-year increase came as the downbeat pace of the country's exports slowed over the three-month period, aided by rising shipments of chips and petroleum products.

South Korea's outbound shipments fell 11.2 percent on-year in April but the rate of decline decelerated to 6 percent in May and 2.7 percent in June.

"The entire industrial electricity sales were driven up by increased power consumption in the semiconductor and oil refinery sectors," the ministry said in a release.

The country's overall electricity sales in the April-June period gained 1.5 percent on-year to 118.03 billion kilowatt-hours as consumption by households and commercial buildings rose 0.8 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.

brk@yna.co.kr
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