South Korea Industrial Output Accelerates at Rate Not Seen in 4 Years

South Korea Industrial Output Accelerates at Rate Not Seen in 4 Years

However, production of mobile phones and TVs -- the country's key export items -- shrank 25%.

SEOUL -- Boosted by robust production in memory chips and cars, South Korea’s industrial output for December rose at the fastest pace in more than four years.

Production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries rose 3.4% from the previous month and 2.6% from December 2012, according to Statistics Korea.

The December figure is the fastest on-month growth since June 2009.

Production of memory chips made by firms such as Samsung (IW 1000/14) and SK Hynix (IW 1000/491) rose 7.3% from November while auto production by companies such as Hyundai (IW 1000/56) also jumped 5.7%.

Production of mobile phones and TVs -- the country's key export items -- shrank 25%.

The South's export-reliant economy was hit by slowing demand from major markets including the United States and Europe during the global slowdown.

But Asia's fourth-largest economy grew 2.8% in 2013, up from 2% posted in 2012, boosted by huge government stimulus spending and improving global demand. Seoul's central bank has forecast 3.8% growth in 2014.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

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