South Korean industrial production finished 2016 with another monthly drop but annualised growth for December came in well above expectations.

Output contracted by 0.5 per cent month on month, according to the Korea National Statistics Office, dropping from revised growth of 3.6 per cent a month earlier (previously 3.4 per cent).

While less severe than other recent falls, the latest monthly figure also undershot a median forecast from economists of 0.3 per cent growth.

However, in year-on-year terms production grew 4.3 per cent, comfortably above the 2.2 per cent rise expected by economists – though still down from November’s rise revised growth of 5.3 per cent (previously 4.8 per cent).

While South Korea’s gross domestic product grew more quickly than expected in the fourth quarter, a number of the country’s big-name companies had less-than-stellar results during the period, with Hyundai Motor profits missing analyst forecasts and LG Electronics reporting its first operating loss since 2010.

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