Bloomberg News

S. Korea Output Rises for First Time in Four Months on Carmakers

October 30, 2012

South Korea’s industrial production rose for the first time in four months as stronger sales of cars and electronics helped offset the effects of a cooling global economy.

Output rose 0.8 percent last month from August when it dropped a revised 0.9 percent, Statistics Korea said today. The median estimate of 11 economists in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 1.5 percent rise. Production rose 0.7 percent from a year earlier.

“Demand both overseas and at home is still weak but it seems the worst has passed, with exports to major markets declining at a much slower pace,” said Lee Sung Kwon, an economist at Shinhan Investment Corp. in Seoul. “Things should improve sooner or later.”

Hyundai Motor Co. (005380), South Korea’s largest carmaker, and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), the biggest maker of mobile phones, reported profit that beat analysts’ estimates in the third quarter. The resilience of exporters highlights the prospect for the economy to rebound after expanding at the slowest pace in three years in the three months through September.

The won appreciated 0.4 percent to 1,091.50 per dollar yesterday in Seoul, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Kospi Index rose 0.4 percent.

China Demand

Hyundai said Oct. 25 it will probably beat its full-year sales forecast as deliveries climb 8.2 percent in the fourth quarter, led by demand in China. Samsung said Oct. 26 that operating profit from telecommunications more than doubled as its Galaxy brand devices widened their lead over Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

South Korea’s current-account surplus widened to the second biggest on record in September after exports increased from the previous month, Bank of Korea director-general Kim Young Bae told reporters yesterday in Seoul.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eunkyung Seo in Seoul at eseo3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Panckhurst at ppanckhurst@bloomberg.net


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