The country's industrial output kept expanding in July, but the lackluster gain was a yet another indicator that the much-anticipated recovery in domestic demand is not kicking in.
Statistics Korea said Fridaythat production for all industries picked up by zero.2 percent last month with the manufacturing sector expanding by more than one percent from June, helped by robust activities in the automobile and oil refinery industries.
The pace of gains for all industries slowed considerably from 2.2 percent in June.
However, production in the service sector inched down zero.4 percent from a month earlier with activities among wholesalers and retailers, and the financial industry all contracting by more than one percent.
A separate indicator confirmed that Korean manufacturers are not expecting a full economic recovery any time soon.
The Bank of Korea announced Friday that the business sentiment index for manufacturers for August stood at 72 - the lowest figure in more than a year and the fourth consecutive monthly drop following April's deadly ferry disaster.
Bank officials say businessmen remain worried about weak domestic demand and abundant uncertainties in and out of the country.
A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists.
Consumers, however, expect rosier days ahead, with consumer sentiment at 107, up two points from the previous month.
Song Ji-sun, Arirang News.
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