SEOUL, May 10 (Yonhap) — South Korean manufacturers’ domestic supply rose for the first time in a year in the first quarter of 2021 as the country’s economy is on a recovery track on robust exports, data showed Monday.

The manufacturing domestic supply index stood at 105.6 in the January-March period, up 3.3 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

The index, which measures both locally produced goods and imports, serves as a major indicator of domestic demand trends.

The quarterly index rebounded for the first time in the first quarter following the third consecutive quarter of declines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also grew at the fastest pace since the third quarter of 2017, when the domestic supply index rose 8.1 percent on-year.

The rebound came as facility investment remained robust amid increased imports of chip-making parts, according to the statistics agency.

The index for consumer goods rose 4.7 percent on-year in the cited period, compared with a 1.1 percent fall three months earlier.

The supply for capital goods — which refers to machinery used in industrial sectors — inched up 0.2 percent from a year earlier, compared with a 9 percent on-year decline in the fourth quarter of last year.

The supply of intermediate goods rose 3.6 percent on-year, accelerating from a 0.7 percent increase from three months earlier, the data showed.

The South Korean economy is on a recovery track on the back of robust exports, after it contracted in 2020 for the first time since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.

The country’s exports jumped 41.1 percent on-year in April to extend their gains to the sixth consecutive month amid a global economic recovery.