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South Korea Factory Output Rises for First Time in 4 Months

South Korea's industrial output in April expanded on monthly terms for the first time in four months, data showed on Thursday, though the modest rate of expansion suggested that momentum for Asia's fourth-largest economy remains subdued.

Industrial output rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent in April from the previous month, following a revised 2.4 percent fall in March, Statistics Korea data showed. The revised March reading was slightly better than a provisional 2.6 percent fall reported in late April.

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The median forecast in a Reuters poll of economists was for April industrial output to have risen by a seasonally adjusted 1.0 percent on monthly terms, with forecasts ranging from a 0.6 percent fall to a 3.5 percent rise.

On an annual basis, industrial output rose 1.7 percent in April after a revised 2.9 percent fall in March, the data showed, compared with a median 0.5 percent rise tipped in the Reuters survey.

South Korea's industrial output closely mirrors its exports, as the country is home to some of the world's biggest manufacturers of cars, ships and smartphones.

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In April, overseas shipments rose by 0.4 percent from a year earlier, improving from a 0.2 percent rise in March but remaining weak as the global economy continues to struggle.

The statistics agency data also showed that service-sector output rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in April on a monthly basis after a revised 0.8 percent fall in March.