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S Korea's economic growth moderates amid price instability: finance ministry

01-05-2012 16:37 BJT

SEOUL, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's economic growth moderated somewhat amid persistent price instabilities, the finance ministry said Thursday.

"Our economy saw employment maintain its recovery trend, but some economic indicators were somewhat weakening amid lingering factors that could destabilize prices," the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said in a so-called Green Book, a monthly report assessing the nation's economic conditions.

The assessment was based on the latest economic indicators that showed weak performance in industrial output and consumption, while consumer price inflation was stronger.

Production in the manufacturing and mining sectors contracted 0. 4 percent in November from a month earlier, with retail sales shrank 0.6 percent over the cited period. The number of people employed grew 479,000 in November, indicating that the nation's labor market may continue to create jobs despite external uncertainties such as Europe's debt crisis.

Meanwhile, inflationary pressures mounted. Consumer prices jumped 4.2 percent in December from a year earlier due to seasonal factors of rising farm goods prices, with core consumer price growth accelerating to 3.6 percent last month from 3.5 percent a month before.

Touching on the external uncertainties, the ministry cautioned that concerns over higher global oil prices caused by political unrest in the Mideast region were added to the existing risk factors such as the European fiscal crisis, saying that uncertainties over economic conditions widened.

The ministry said that it would closely monitor economic trends at home and abroad, promising that it would strengthen its policy response to achieve economic recovery along with stable prices.


Editor:Bai Yang |Source: Xinhua

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