Output by Korean small and mid-sized manufacturers fell for the eighth month in a row to show the weakest activity as of September since the aftermath of the 2008-2009 financial crisis.
According to Statistics Korea on Monday, output from smaller manufacturers employing fewer than 300 fell 4.3 percent on year in the first nine months, the biggest year-on-year loss since the 8.8 percent plunge in the wake of the 2009 global financial crisis.
In September, the production index stopped at 97.1, down 13.9 percent from the previous year and extending the loss for eighth consecutive month.
The output decline of smaller companies was steeper than that of larger manufacturers. Production from the industrial sites employing more than 300 dropped 0.4 percent on year in the first nine months.
The struggles of automotive and shipbuilding industries translated harder on the smaller producers in the supply chain because their revenue hinges largely on the big makers.
Amidst the financial crisis in 2009, Korea’s smaller producers reported an 8.8 percent on-year decline in output, while the bigger counterparts yielded 4.3 percent lower shipments.
The services sector is no different. Output from SMEs in the service sector gained 1.6 percent rise in the first nine months, compared with last year’s 2.1 percent increase in the weakest growth since the data has been traced from 2015.
By Chung Seok-woo and Lee Ha-yeon
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