SEJONG, May 20 (Yonhap) — Service output declined in 14 provinces and cities in South Korea in the first quarter of this year as the coronavirus pandemic took a heavy toll on the service industry, data showed Wednesday.

However, service output in Seoul — home to one-fifth of South Korea’s 51 million-strong population — rose 2.3 percent on-year in the first quarter, helped by robust gains in the financial and property sectors, Statistics Korea said in a report.

The southern resort island of Jeju suffered the biggest decline in service output in the first quarter as it reported a 10.3 percent contraction.

The southeastern city of Daegu, once the epicenter of the virus in the nation, posted a 4.4 percent fall in service output.

Retail sales also dipped in nearly all provinces and cities in the first quarter.

Jeju reported a 14.8 percent contraction in first-quarter retail sales, and Daegu posted a 9.9 percent fall, according to the data.

Retail sales in Seoul and Incheon slipped 7.9 percent and 9.1 percent, respectively, the data showed.

The statistics agency said South Jeolla Province saw its retail sales rise 3.9 percent in the first quarter, helped by modest gains in sales of shopping centers and convenience stores.