April 28, 2020 / 11:24 PM / a month ago

South Korea's March factory output expands unexpectedly as virus disrupts Chinese production

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s factory output unexpectedly expanded at its sharpest pace in nearly 11 years in March, official data showed on Wednesday, aided by virus-related production disruptions in China and new product launches.

Industrial output rose by a seasonally adjusted 4.6% in March from a month earlier, far better than a 1.3% fall tipped in a Reuters survey and the biggest expansion since a 7.3% jump in February 2009. It shrank 3.8% in February.

“There has been a temporary increase in factory output due to launch of new cars in March, while demand for electronic components from South Korea rose on production disruptions at Chinese companies,” a statistics agency official told Reuters.

On a year-on-year basis, the factory output jumped 7.1%, compared with a 11.3% rise in February.

Reporting by Joori Roh, Cynthia Kim; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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