SEOUL, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Private consumption in South Korea kept falling despite the recovery in exports, which take up about half of the export-driven economy, a government report showed on Thursday.
The financial ministry said in its monthly economic report, called Green Book, that consumption slump continued though export recovery positively affected production and corporate investment.
The country's exports jumped 20.2 percent in February from a year ago, posting the highest growth in five years amid strong demand for chips used in smartphones and higher export prices of oil products.
Production in mining and manufacturing industries grew 3.3 percent in January from a month ago due to export recovery, rebounding from a 0.5 percent reduction in the previous month.
Facility investment rose 2.6 percent in January, keeping a growth momentum for three months in a row thanks to demand for semiconductor equipments.
Retail sales, however, declined 2.2 percent in January from the previous month amid lackluster domestic demand.
In February, revenue in discount outlets tumbled 14.6 percent compared with a year earlier. Sales in department stores fell 1.1 percent, turning downward from the previous month's increase.
The falling retail sales can be attributable to the lower number of Chinese tourists visiting South Korea following the de-facto start of deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea.
Two mobile launchers and a part of the THAAD battery arrived here at Monday night and were transported to an unknown place in South Korea.
The fast deployment process kindled backlashes from China and Russia, which have continued to oppose the U.S. missile shield deployment in South Korea as it breaks regional strategic balance and damages security interests of the two countries.