SKorea Feb industrial output up 2.6%

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SEOUL: South Korea’s industrial output rose 2.6 percent in February from a month earlier, boosted by demand over the Lunar New Year holiday, government data showed on Tuesday.

Production in the automobile and semiconductor sectors led the growth figure, which followed a steep decline of 3.7 percent in January’s industrial output.

Year-on-year, last month’s output showed a fall of 4.7 percent.

South Korea’s central bank announced a surprise 25 basis point interest rate cut earlier this month, in an effort to fend off deflation and kick-start the struggling economy.

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The Bank of Korea (BOK) said the move, which took the benchmark rate to a record low of 1.75 percent, reflected slow demand and a lack of confidence among businesses and consumers.

The BOK in January slashed its economic growth forecast for this year to 3.4 percent from the previously tipped 3.9 percent.

AFP

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