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South Korea Feb factory output growth hits near 6-1/2 year high

[SEOUL] South Korea's industrial output in February grew the most in nearly six-and-a-half years on-month, data showed on Thursday, far outpacing the market's expectations and helping ease some of the concerns about an economic recovery.

Industrial output in February grew by a seasonally adjusted 3.3 per cent from a month earlier, Statistics Korea data showed, rebounding from a 2.1 per cent drop in January. The January reading was revised from a preliminary 1.8 per cent fall.

The median forecast from a Reuters survey of 12 analysts had tipped February industrial output to edge down by a seasonally adjusted 0.2 per cent.

Factory output data tends to be volatile, even after adjustment for seasonal factors.

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On an annual basis, February's industrial output rose 2.4 per cent, outperforming a forecast of no change tipped in the Reuters survey. This compared with a revised 2.2 per cent fall in January.

Service sector output in February inched up a seasonally adjusted 0.3 per cent on monthly terms, although failing to recoup a revised 1.3 per cent fall in January.