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South Korea's October factory output surprisingly falls

A worker cycles past cars made by South Korea's automakers Hyundai Motor and affiliate Kia Motors.

[SEOUL] South Korea's industrial output posted a surprise fall in October while September growth was revised up, data showed on Monday, casting doubts about a sustained recovery in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

Industrial output in October fell by a seasonally adjusted 1.4 per cent from September, the fastest drop since May and greatly missing the median forecast for a 0.2 per cent rise in a Reuters survey.

But the September reading was revised up to a 2.2 per cent increase from a provisional 1.9 per cent gain reported earlier.

On an annual basis, industrial output rose 1.5 per cent in October after a revised 2.8 per cent rise in September, the Statistics Korea data showed. This was compared with a 1.7 per cent rise forecast in the Reuters survey.

The data also showed the service-sector output index edged up by a seasonally adjusted 0.2 per cent in October on a monthly basis, slowing from a revised 1.1 per cent gain in September.