South Korea November factory output jumps thanks to robust chip production

By Cynthia Kim

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s November factory output posted the fastest gain since May 2022 on soaring chip production, official data showed on Thursday.

The industrial output index increased 5.3% in November from a year earlier, according to Statistics Korea, beating a median estimate of a 3.0% gain tipped in a Reuters survey.

Semiconductor production soared 42.4% from a year earlier, boosting the country’s factory output even as that of machines and other electric components dropped 13.8% and 9.9% each, Statistics Korea report showed.

From a month earlier, the index gained 3.3%, also beating a 1.0% increase projected in the survey.

On Wednesday, a Reuters poll showed South Korea’s exports likely rose for a third month in December as stronger semiconductor exports were seen supporting the country’s economic recovery into the new year.

(Reporting by Cynthia Kim and Youn Ah Moon in Seoul; Editing by Leslie Adler and Matthew Lewis)