SEOUL, May 10 (Yonhap) — The South Korean economy is on a modest recovery track despite spiking coronavirus cases as the manufacturing sector has continued to improve on robust exports, a state-run think tank said Monday.
The country’s exports and facility investment logged accelerated growth amid continued improvement in external demand, according to a monthly economic assessment report by the Korea Development Institute (KDI).
“As retail sales, exports, and equipment investment all improved, the manufacturing industry is exhibiting a solid recovery trend,” the English-language report showed.
South Korea’s industrial output grew for the second straight month in March in the latest sign that Asia’s fourth-largest economy is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Exports, which account for half of the economy, jumped 41.1 percent on-year in April to extend their gains to the sixth consecutive month.
Retail sales, a measure of private spending, grew at the fastest pace in nine months in March, led by increased sales of clothes and cosmetics.
But the KDI said economic uncertainties still run high amid a flare-up in COVID-19 cases and the spread of new variants.
“The service sector is still in a slump despite exhibiting a slight rebound as social distancing rules have eased from mid-February,” the report said.
The country reported 463 more virus cases Monday, including 436 local infections, raising the total to 127,772. The average daily infections stayed around 600 in the past week as people increased activities amid warm weather.