July 11, 2017 / 1:07 AM / a year ago

South Korea says exports robust but weak domestic demand hampering economy

SEOUL (Reuters) - Weak private consumption and tepid employment growth are holding back South Korea’s economy even as exports steadily gain, the finance ministry said on Tuesday.

A crane carries a container (top R) from a ship at the PNC container terminal at the Busan New Port in Busan, about 420 km (261 miles) southeast of Seoul, August 8, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won/File Photo

May retail sales declined 0.9 percent from April while the consumer price index gained 1.9 percent year-on-year in June, cooling from 2 percent in July and pointing to a slower-than-expected recovery in domestic demand.

The nation’s service sector output also declined 0.3 percent in May on-month after a 0.1 percent rise in April.

The ministry said the economy faces uncertainties from North Korean risks, soaring household debt and a lukewarm job market.

Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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