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S. Korea gripped by weak exports, investments: report

All Headlines 10:02 August 16, 2019

SEJONG, Aug. 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea remains gripped by sluggish exports and investments despite a slow gain in industrial production, a government report said Friday.

The finance ministry report said the Korean economy is faced with growing downside risks from a slowing global economy, lower demand for chips and escalating trade tensions.

"South Korea's overseas shipments and corporate investment remained weak in the second quarter of the year on such negatives," it said. "External uncertainties are growing over Japan's export curbs on Seoul and the escalating trade row between the United States and China."

It marks the fifth consecutive month that the report has used the term "weak" in assessing Asia's fourth-largest economy.

S. Korea gripped by weak exports, investments: report - 1

The report -- called the Green Book -- is based on a set of the latest indicators of output, exports, consumption and corporate investment, which serves as a snapshot of the economy's performance in recent months.

South Korea's exports dropped 11 percent in July from a year earlier due to a prolonged slump in chips and weak demand from China, extending their on-year decline to the eighth consecutive month.

Semiconductors are a key export product in South Korea, home to Samsung Electronics, the world's largest memory chip maker, and its smaller rival, SK hynix Inc.

South Korea's facility investments edged up 0.4 percent in June from a year earlier, while output of the manufacturing and mining sectors grew 0.2 percent on-year.

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