S. Korea manufacturing activity grows

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    SEOUL- 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 percent from a month earlier, Statistics Korea said on Monday, down from 7.2 percent in June and slightly missing the median forecast of a 1.9 percent 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 percent, worse than the previous month’s 0.5 percent slide and the 1.2 percent fall tipped in a Reuters survey.