The growth in service industry production has slowed to below one percent for the first time in 32 months in November.
According to Statistics Korea on Sunday, service industry production grew zero-point-eight percent in November from a year earlier, marking the slowest gain since February 2021, when it shrank zero-point-eight percent.
By quarter, the output climbed to eight-point-five percent in the third quarter of last year before slipping to two-point-three percent in the second quarter this year and one-point-nine percent in the third.
By industry, the slowdown was conspicuous in the sectors of lodging and dining, wholesale and retail, arts, sports, and leisure-related services.
In particular, production in the lodging and dining sector, which posted double-digit gains almost every quarter since the fourth quarter of 2021, turned negative for the first time in seven quarters in the second quarter of this year to shrink two-point-seven percent. It contracted four-point-seven percent in the third.
The government and experts mostly attribute the deepening slowdown in the service industry to soaring prices and high interest rates, which reduce household real income and increase the interest burden.