Korean exports continue to rise and investment and private consumption have both noticeably improved, indicating that the overall economy is in a recovery phase. The mining & manufacturing production index in September jumped by 11%, continuing its rise for the third consecutive month. The automobile industry showed a sharp rise in production due to the production of new models, rising to 32.3% in September from -2.9% in August. Service industry production in September rose by 4.2%, 3.2% higher than the previous month. Sales of consumer goods in September also rose from the previous month (1.9%), recording a growth rate of 6.7%. Meanwhile, the growth rate of equipment investment recorded 5.8% for September, taking only 12 months to recover thanks to the expansion of investment in transport equipment. Overall, equipment investment continued its rising trend.
With an increase in public and civil works and a turnaround in growth of the construction sector, the value of construction completed rose by 6.0% in September, a notable jump from the previous month (-6.8%).
The growth rate of exports recorded -8.3%, which is similar to the previous month (- 7.8%). The growth rate of automobile exports recorded -24.1%, while wireless communication devices fell by -30.1%, dropping even further than the previous month. The year-onyear growth rate of imports recorded -16.3%, which was still better than the previous month (-24.6%). Meanwhile, the labor market in September slightly improved, recording a 3.6% unemployment rate, down by 0.2% from the previous month (3.8%). 71,000 new workers were hired, a significant improvement from the previous month (3,000).
Korean stock prices fell during October despite stable interest rates and foreign exchange rates. The interest rate remained stable despite a possible adjustment of the interest rate policy. The KOSPI index closed 1580.69 at the end of October, down from the previous month, over concerns of deteriorating corporate performance. The value of the won against the dollar was 1200.60 as of late October, a slight rise from the previous month.