Korea's economic conditions might not be improving as quickly as many had hoped.
Statistics Korea said Friday that the nation's industrial output shrank 1.8 percent last month from January, marking the second straight month of decline.
The agency attributed the drop in output to slowing production in the nation's auto sector which fell more than 7 percent in February on-month.
It cited fewer exports of Korean automobiles to the United States due to the harsh winter there and consumers waiting for the scheduled release of new models.
The agency added that the decline is most likely temporary because the output numbers from January to February improved from the fourth quarter last year.
Experts, however, remain dubious about the strength of the recovery this year.
They say the domestic economy faces an uphill battle in trying to maintain the pace of recovery seen in the second half of last year.
"If the economic growth rate reaches one percent every quarter this year from a quarter earlier like the second half of 2013, the economy will be able to expand over 4 percent this year. But for now, that remains questionable."
The Bank of Korea data also showed that business sentiment among Korean manufacturers remained weak last month.
Although the index reached 81, up from 78 in February, the reading is still below the benchmark 100 which means there are more pessimists than optimists.
The central bank expects the Korean economy to grow 3.8 percent this year after a 3 percent growth last year.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.
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