South Korea’s industrial output in May rose at its fastest pace in three months and far outperformed expectations as car and semiconductor production boosted activity, government data showed on Thursday.
Industrial output in Asia’s fourth-largest economy rose a seasonally adjusted 2.5 per cent in May from April, beating a 0.3 percent rise projected by a Reuters survey.
Thursday’s data follows a upwardly revised 1.2 percent fall in April output.
“The data improved in May but there are many temporary parts, which makes it difficult to say what will come next,” said a finance ministry official to Reuters regarding the data release.
The loss of momentum sparked by weak exports prompted the central bank to cut interest rates for the first time this year, and the government is to deliver extra fiscal stimulus worth around 10 trillion won ($8.62 billion) via a supplementary budget.
Thursday’s data also showed that service-sector output rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent in May on a monthly basis, compared to a revised 0.5 percent gain in April.
On a year-on-year basis, industrial output jumped 4.3 per cent in May after a revised 2.6 percent drop in April, also outperforming a 0.4 percent gain in the same Reuters survey.