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Industrial power consumption in July hits 4-year low on virus

Industry 15:14 September 11, 2020

SEOUL, Sept. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's industrial electricity consumption fell to a four-year low in July amid an economic slump caused by the coronavirus outbreak, data showed Friday.

The volume of power consumed by the nation's industrial sector reached 23,468 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in July, down 4.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO), South Korea's state-run utility.

The figure is the lowest industrial power consumption for July since the 23,238 GWh recorded in the same month in 2016.

Industrial power consumption in July hits 4-year low on virus - 1

It also marks the fifth consecutive month of on-year decline this year, as the coronavirus pandemic has pounded industrial activity and the overall economy.

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

In contrast, household electricity consumption climbed 6.6 percent on-year to 6,619 GWh in July, with power used by commercial buildings falling 0.6 percent to 9,832 GWh.

The country's overall power consumption shrank 2.1 percent on-year to 42,068 GWh in July, also the lowest since the same month in 2016 and marking the fifth straight month of an on-year drop.

In the first seven months of the year, overall power sales contracted 2.8 percent from a year earlier, with full-year power consumption expected to dip for the second straight year.

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