South Korea's economy slowed down at a moderate pace due to weak exports amid lingering external uncertainties such as Europe's debt crisis, a state-run think tank said Monday.
"Our economy recently slowed down at a moderate pace, mainly driven by exports, but consumer price inflation showed a slight stabilization," the Korea Development Institute (KDI) said in its monthly report on economic conditions.
Production in mining and manufacturing sectors grew by 1.1 percent on-month in September, a turnaround from the 1.9 percent on-month contraction tallied for August, but the service industry output shrank 1.6 percent over the same period.
Retail sales contracted 3.2 percent on-month in September, and facility investment decreased 4.2 percent on-year in September, down from the 3.4 percent on-year reduction the previous month.
Exports grew 9.3 percent on-year in October, but the growth slowed down compared with the 18.8 percent on-year expansion in September.
Meanwhile, consumer price inflation showed signs of easing mainly due to a slowing rise in agricultural product prices, the thinks tank said. The nation's consumer prices rose 3.9 percent on- year last month, down from the 4.3 percent on-year rise in September. This was the first time this year that the consumer price growth fell below the upper ceiling of the Bank of Korea (BOK)'s inflation target band of 2-4 percent.
Touching on external risks, the KDI painted a somewhat rosy picture, saying that external uncertainties such as Europe's debt crisis eased slightly.