Monday, January 30, 2023

S.Korea Sept factory output shrinks as auto chip shortage bites By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Hyundai Motor’s sedans are assembled at a factory of the carmaker in Asan, about 100 km (62 miles) south of Seoul, January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won/File Photo

By Joori Roh

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s factory output in September declined from August and unexpectedly shrank on a year-on-year basis, ending a 10-month winning streak, as global chip shortages struck car production.

Industrial production last month fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.8%, Statistics Korea data showed on Friday, missing a median 0.3% decline forecast in a Reuters survey. It followed a 0.7% drop in August.

A breakdown of data showed production of cars shrank 9.8% from a month earlier, while that of semiconductors and electrical equipments also slumped 1.6% and 5.2%, respectively.

“September industrial output was weak as global supply chain disruptions were seen weighing on production in the manufacturing industry and on fewer working days (due to the national thanksgiving Chuseok Holiday),” said Oh Chang-sob, an economist at Hyundai Motor Securities.

On an annual basis, factory output unexpectedly contracted 1.8%, missing a 1.4% growth forecast in the poll and down from a 9.7% expansion in August.

Friday’s data also showed the service sector output expanded 1.3% month-on-month in September, while retail sales jumped 2.5%.

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