SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s factory output grew at its fastest pace in eight months in February, far exceeding expectations, mostly due to a boost in semiconductor and chemicals production.
Industrial output rose a seasonally-adjusted 4.3% in February from a month earlier, Statistics Korea data showed on Wednesday, rebounding from a 1.2% contraction in January and beating a median forecast of a 0.1% decline.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, semiconductor production rose 7.2% month-on-month, while chemical products manufacturing was up 7.9%, towing the expansion.
From a year earlier, factory output rose 0.9%, missing a 2.5% increase tipped in a Reuters survey and slowing from the previous month’s 7.8% expansion.
Wednesday’s data also showed service sector output last month rose a seasonally adjusted 1.1% in February on a monthly basis, the fastest growth since June 2020.
The sector gained, with output from accommodation facilities and restaurants surging 20.4% month-on-month, as COVID-19 measures in the country eased.
(Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Tom Hogue and Sam Holmes)