SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's economy faced external uncertainties such as the slump in the global chip market, despite solid export and consumption, a finance ministry report said on Friday.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance said in its monthly report on economic situations that though the solid trend of export and private consumption continued, uncertainties remained such as the slumping semiconductor market amid the ongoing correction in investment and employment.
The country's semiconductor export declined 8.3 percent in December, the first reduction in 27 months. Chip export tumbled 27.2 percent for the first 10 days of January on lower product price.
Samsung Electronics, the country's biggest tech company, saw its operating profit plunge 28.7 percent in the fourth quarter due to soft demand for memory chips.
Production in all industries dipped 0.7 percent in November from a month earlier, after growing 0.8 percent in the previous month.
In November, facility investment retreated 5.1 percent, but retail sales, which reflect consumer spending, added 0.5 percent.
For the entire year of 2018, employment increased 97,000, less than a third of the growth in 2017.
Consumer prices gained 1.3 percent in December from a year earlier amid cheaper global crude oil.