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S. Korea's economy gripped by weak exports, construction investment: report

Economy 10:00 December 13, 2019

SEJONG, Dec. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's economy remains gripped by sluggish exports and weak construction investment, despite a modest gain in service output and consumption, a government report showed on 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.

"Exports and construction investment remain as factors that limit the nation's economic growth, although service output and consumption report a modest rise," the ministry said in a monthly report.

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.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance's "Green Book" (Yonhap)

Hit by a prolonged trade war between the United States and China, South Korea's economy grew by 1.9 percent in the first nine months of the year, slowing from a 2.6 percent expansion for the same period last year.

In November, South Korea's exports slipped 14.3 percent from a year earlier to extend their slump to a 12th consecutive month.

Outbound shipments reached $44.1 billion last month, compared with US$51.4 billion a year earlier, according to government data. Imports fell 13 percent on-year last month to $40.7 billion, decreasing for the seventh consecutive month.

Industrial production declined for the second straight month in October, mainly due to a decrease in the production of auto and display panels.

South Korea's industrial output fell 0.4 percent on-year in October.


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