Economic indicators related to major industrial activities and economic confidence have improved since January 2019. Employment rose in February and consumer prices remained stable.
Industrial production rose in January by 0.8% month-on-month due to strong mining and manufacturing production (up 1.2%, m-o-m), service output (up 0.9%, m-o-m) and construction completed (up2.1%, m-o-m).
Consumption remained strong in January, and investment improved: Retail sales rose, as well as facility investment (down 2.6% ? up20.2%, m-o-m) and construction completed (up 2.4% ? up 2.1%, m-o-m).
Exports remained weak in February, falling 11.1 percent year-on-year due to weak semiconductors and slowing down global economies, including the Chinese economy.
The consumer sentiment index (CSI) rose 2 points to 99.5 for the third consecutive month in February, and the business sentiment index (BSI) improved 2 points to 69. The BSI outlook for March jumped 11 points to 76.
The cyclical indicator of coincident composite index as well as cyclical indicator of leading composite index fell by 0.1points and 0.4points, respectively, compared to a month ago.
The economy added 263,000 jobs in February as service jobs increased and also due to the government's job creation programs. The unemployment rate went up by 0.1 percentage points due to increased job seekers.
Consumer prices in February rose 0.5 percent compared to a year ago, fresh food prices being stable and oil prices continuing to fall.
In February, KOSPI declined and the won weakened. Treasury bond yields fluctuated.
Housing prices were stable in February (down 0.15% ? down 0.12%, m-o-m) and Jeonse (lump-sum deposits with no monthly payments) prices continued to fall (down 0.22% ? down 0.22%, m-o-m).
There has been a positive momentum into this year backed by improving industrial activities and economic confidence. However, uncertainties linger amid concerns over global economic slowdown, weak semiconductor markets, US-China trade relationship and Brexit.
The government will strengthen risk management and renew its effort to boost the economy while continuing to seek inclusiveness. The government will work to successfully implement measures to promote exports and ventures, as well as plans to support industrial innovation.
Source: Ministry of Strategy and Finance