NABO Industry Trends and Issues (No. 4)
I. Industry,Trade,Industrial Loan, EnergyTrends
(Industry and Trade) Production in the manufacturing sector in November 2017 decreased YoY (-1.8%) due to the continued decrease in the output of large-scale industries such as the automobile, steel and ship-building industries. Total exports as well as the exports of the 11 major industries in December increased YoY (total exports 8.9%, 11 major industries 9.0%), as exports of semiconductors (64.9%), petroleum (29.5%) and chemical products (21.9%) increased due to the global economic recovery, increase in export volume and increase in product prices.
(Industrial Loans) Due to the increase of large-scale services industries, there was an increase of industrial loans in 3Q17 (5.1%) YoY particularly in the manufacturing sector (0.6%), services sector (8.5%) and construction (3.9%), whereas loans decreased in other industries (-1.1%).
(Energy) The final energy consumption between January and September 2017 increased (2.5%) over the same period in the previous year showing a respective increase in the industrial sector (62.1%), transportation (18.9%) and household/commercial sector (16.5%). There was a 2.2% increase of electricity generation between January and November.
Ⅱ. Expectation of the Housing Price Increase and Mortgage
As mortgage represents more than 50% of household debts in 2017, the government announced measures to strengthen regulations on mortgage and set a target rate of 8.2% for household debt increase. Speculation on the housing price increase as well as low interest rates may have driven the recent rise in household debts. In this regard, this report analyzes the relationship between households’ speculation on the increase in housing prices and household debts. According to the Household Financing and Welfare Survey in 2017, households that expect to see an increase in housing prices have more mortgages compared to those that do not.
Ⅲ. Key Characteristics of Female Employment in Korea
Despite the increasing rate of female employment, the female employment rate in Korea ranks 29th among the 35 member states of the OECD, as of 2016. Upon analyzing the status of Korean female employment with micro data provided by Statistics Korea, it was discovered that a substantial proportion of the employed women are temporary, unpaid family workers or simple laborers, and the employment rate of women in their 30s is decreasing while a wide income gap persists between men and women. This seems to have been affected by the deterioration of the quality of employment for women as they return to the workforce after maternity leave. Therefore, measures should be explored to prevent the suspension of women’s careers or the decline of their employment rate due to reasons such as childbirth or child care, as well as to improve the quality of women’s employment.