South Korea's industrial output contracted last month amid lingering uncertainties over Europe's debt crisis and the possible global economic slowdown, a government report showed Thursday.
Output in mining, manufacturing and electricity and gas sectors diminished 0.4 percent in November from a month earlier after shrinking 0.6 percent in October, according to the report by Statistics Korea.
From a year earlier, the industrial production expanded 5.6 percent last month, marking the 29th straight month of on-year growth, but the output gain was lower than the 6.3 percent on-year expansion tallied in October.
The November on-month contraction came as weak demand for chips and parts and audio and video equipment outweighed strong performance in metal processing and electric equipment, according to the report. Production in chips & parts shrank 1.8 percent on- month in November, with that of audio and video equipment decreasing 3.9 percent over the cited period.
Shipment in the mining firms and manufacturers contracted 1.1 percent on-month in November, while inventory in the sector grew 3.7 percent over the same period.
Local manufacturers operated at an average capacity of 79 percent last month, down 0.7 percentage points from the previous month. The factory utilization rate stood at 80.5 percent a year earlier.
Production in the service industry decreased 0.5 percent on- month in November due to downswings in publication and broadcasting, finance and insurance, wholesale and retail and transportation sectors, according to the report.
Retail sales posted a 0.6 percent on-month reduction last month as underperformance in semi-durables and non-durables outweighed strong sales of durables.
Meanwhile, facility investment expanded 7.7 percent on-month in November due to capital spending increase in general machinery and transport equipment sectors.
The value of construction completed at constant price dropped 9.2 percent in November from the previous month, while construction orders received at current price grew 15 percent last month from the previous year.
The leading index of economic indicators, which gauges business activities eight to 15 months ahead, rose 1.1 percent on-year in November, up 0.1 percentage point from the previous month. The coincident index, measuring current economic conditions, was won 0. 6 points last month from a month before.