South Korea Industrial Output Rises 16.3%

Auto production increases 53.2%.

South Korea's industrial output expanded 16.3% year-on-year in September, boosted by brisk exports and a rise in auto industry production, the National Statistical Office said Oct. 31. The September figure was well above a 10.9% gain in August.

Auto production soared 53.2% last month from September 2005, compared to a 7.1% gain a month earlier.

Factories operated at 84.1% of capacity in September compared with 80.7% in August.

Shipments rose 15.1% year-on-year in September, accelerating from 8.9% in August. Inventories increased 7% after a 7.4% gain the previous month.

Corporate investment to expand facilities increased 14.7% year-on-year in September following an 11% increase in August.

The economy is expected to grow 5% this year on a recovery in private spending and strong exports, but is likely to slow down to the mid-four-percent range next year due to a forecast slowdown in the global economy.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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