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S. Korean manufacturing stuck in doldrums: IHS Markit

11:22 July 01, 2020

SEOUL, July 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's manufacturing activity remained in the doldrums in June amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, a global market researcher said Wednesday.

The purchasing managers' index (PMI) of the country's manufacturing sector stood at 43.4 last month, up 2.1 points from the previous month, according to a survey by HS Markit.

Yet the June reading was below the 50-point mark that separates contraction from expansion. PMI is a key measure of factory activity in a country.

According to the findings, 35 percent of surveyed South Korean manufacturers said their output declined in June, with only 17 percent reporting increases.

S. Korean manufacturing stuck in doldrums: IHS Markit - 1

Most of them lowered their capacity utilization rates, and their outlooks for sales took a turn for the worse.

In order to cope with falling utilization, those surveyed companies cut back on hiring new workers, with the June drop in employment similar to the worst-ever level posted in May, IHS Markis said.

South Korea is reeling from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic that has sent its economy into a tailspin due to sinking exports and weaker private consumption.

According to government data announced earlier in the day, South Korea's exports fell 10.9 percent on-year to US$39.2 billion in June, marking the fourth consecutive month of decline.

The novel coronavirus has infected 12,850 South Koreans so far, with the death toll reaching 282.
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