Report says, South Korea's industrial output rose 16.7% in Y 2010

South Korea's industrial output jumped 16.7% in Y 2010 from a year earlier, a government report said Monday.

The country's production in the mining and manufacturing industries grew 16.7% last year from a year earlier, when the output marked a 0.8 percent contraction due to the Global financial crisis, the Statistics Korea said.

Output in the mining and manufacturing industries soared 9.8% in December from the same month a year earlier after rising a revised 10.7% in November. The output has grown since July 2009.

Production in December rose 2.8% from November, marking an increase for the second straight month.

The Strong output in December is attributable to out-performance in the semiconductor and machinery equipment industries, offsetting under performance in the non-metal and transportation equipment sectors, the report said.

Production in the semiconductor and machinery equipment sectors expanded 19.6 and 20.3% on-year respectively, while output in the non-metal and transportation equipment retreated 3.8 and 2.9% respectively.

Local manufacturers operated at an average capacity of 81.8% last year, up 7.2 percentage points from the previous year. The average factory utilization rate stood at 82.5% in December, 1.6 percentage point higher than the previous month.

A leading index of economic indicators, which gauges business activity eight to 15 months ahead, increased 2.3% in December from a year earlier, down 0.2 percentage points from a 2. 5% gain in November. It marks the 12th straight month of decline.

Production in the service industry rose 1.3% in December from a month before and grew 2.1% from a year earlier respectively. For the whole of Y 2010, the service sector output gained 3.7% from Y 2009.

Retail sales declined 1.0% last month from November, but sales of consumer goods increased from a year earlier due to brisk sales of durable goods such as computer, mobile devices and electronic appliances.

Facility investment in December rose 0.2% from a month before, while investment in factories contracted 1.2% last month from the same month a year earlier.