SEOUL – South Korea’s industrial output fell sharply in February while retail sales rebounded strongly from a loss in January, data showed on Friday, underscoring an uneven recovery for the trade-reliant economy.
The industrial output index fell 3.2% in February on the month after a 2.4% gain in January, whereas the retail sales index jumped 5.3% last month after a 1.1% drop in January, the Statistics Korea data showed according to Reuters.
The sluggish factory output in February was led by semiconductors and automobiles, with production dropping 17.1% and 4.8%, respectively, more than offsetting gains in chemicals and industrial machinery, the data showed.
The data comes as some economists predict Asia’s fourth-largest economy, which relies more on exports for growth than on domestic consumption, will fall into recession in the current quarter.
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