The Korean economy showed better-than-expected performance in the third quarter,growing 2.9 percent from the previous quarter, while the economic indicators such asproduction, consumption, investment and exports rose noticeably in September.Mining and manufacturing production in September improved greatly, increasing 5.4percent month-on-month, or 11.0 percent year-on-year, affected by summer vacations inAugust and a shift of
holidays falling on October. Service output also gained 2.6percent month-on-month, or 4.2 percent year-on-year, due to increased working days.Consumer goods sales grew 1.8 percent month-on-month, or 6.7 percent year-on-year inSeptember, backed by a surge in durable goods sales, in particular automobile sales.Facilities investment soared in September, registering a rise of 18.8 percent month-on-month, or 5.8 percent year-on-year, as both machinery and transportation equipmentinvestments improved considerably. Construction completed turned around, rising 8.4percent month-on-month, or 6.0 percent year-on-year, thanks to strong performance in theprivate sector.Exports in October, despite reduced working days caused by
holidays, remained ona recovery trend, falling 8.3 percent year-on-year, as major exports including semiconductorsincreased.The total number of workers hired gained 71,000 year-on-year in September, a hugeincrease from the previous month’s rise of 3,000, thanks to government’s job creatingmeasures, while unemployment dropped from the previous month’s 3.7 percent to 3.4percent.Consumer prices in October slowed a year-on-year increase from 2.2 percent a month earlierto 2.0 percent, as prices of agricultural, livestock and fishery products as well as oil productprices stabilized.October financial markets saw stock prices fall in line with global stock market adjustment,foreign exchange rates rise slightly, and interest rates increase reflecting the real economy.To sum up, although the domestic economy improved markedly amid the global economygradually picking up, affected by temporary factors such as a shift of
holidays,uncertainties surrounding sustainable recovery still exist.The Korean government will, considering external factors and other uncertainties in theeconomy, keep pursuing expansionary fiscal policies and minimize the 2009 budgettransferred to 2010 or left unspent, while closely monitoring any signs of economicinstability, in particular the overheated real estate market. On the other hand, measures tocreate jobs, support the working class, and boost consumption and investment will becarried out as planned, along with efforts to further develop the Korean economy.
The Green Book
Current Economic Trends