SEJONG, Sept. 29 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s industrial output fell in August for the first time in three months, but consumption increased amid the coronavirus pandemic, data showed Tuesday.

The nation’s overall industrial production declined 0.9 percent on-month in August, following a 0.1 percent on-month gain in July, according to data compiled by Statistics Korea.

Compared with a year earlier, overall industrial production plunged 3.4 percent in August.

Retail sales rose 3 percent from a month earlier, and facility investment declined 4.4 percent on-month.

Production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries fell 0.7 percent on-month in August, marking the first monthly decline in three months.

Sales of durable goods, such as cars, jumped 12.7 percent, and those of nondurable ones, such as cosmetics, edged up 0.9 percent in August, the data showed.

Production of chips rose 4 percent on-month in August, but auto output slipped 4.1 percent last month.

A Statistics Korea official said sales of home appliances rose in August due to a resurgence of the new coronavirus.

The so-called cyclical component of the composite leading index, which predicts the turning point in business cycles, rose by 0.6 point on-month to 100.9.

The economy contracted 3.2 percent on-quarter in the April-June period, plunging Asia’s fourth-largest economy into a recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.