Electricity consumed by South Korea's industrial sector gained 2.9 percent from a year earlier in January on a rise in exports, the government said Wednesday.
The amount of electricity used by the industrial sector came to 23.84 billion kilowatt-hours in January, compared with 23.16 billion kwh used in the same month of last year, according to the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
Industrial electricity sales serve as a barometer of industrial activity in the country as companies use more electricity when business is good and cut back when demand is low, according to South Korea's (Yonhap) News Agency.
Last month's increase was partly attributed to an increase in the number of working days, which, in turn, led to a rise in industrial output.
The country's exports slipped 0.4 percent on-year to US$45.37 billion last month. However, outbound shipments in terms of volume gained 5.5 percent on-year, the ministry said.
Overall electricity sales rose 3.8 percent on-year to 45.4 billion kwh last month as a drop in temperatures drove up demand for heating at homes and commercial buildings.
Electricity consumed by households climbed 4.5 percent on-year to 6.12 billion kwh, with consumption by commercial buildings also rising 5 percent to 10.24 billion kwh, according to the ministry.