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South Korea's factory activity grows for second month in a row in July

FILE PHOTO: A factory is seen in Incheon, South Korea, May 30, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s factory output grew for a second straight month in July, after marking the fastest growth since 2009 in June, though a resurgence in coronavirus infections is expected to further weigh on the economy.

Industrial production in July rose by a seasonally-adjusted 1.6% from a month earlier, Statistics Korea said on Monday, down from 7.2% in June and slightly missing the median forecast of a 1.9% rise.

But the economic recovery may lose momentum as South Korea extended Phase 2 social distancing rules - the second-strictest level - for at least another week and toughened restrictions on some businesses to battle the resurgence of the virus in August.

From a year earlier, factory output shrank 2.5%, worse than the previous month’s 0.5% slide and the 1.2% fall tipped in a Reuters survey.

Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Paul Simao

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