Samsung builds Xian plant
South Korea’s Samsung Electronics yesterday said it had started building a new US$7 billion chip plant in Xian, China — its biggest-ever investment in the country. The plant, scheduled to come on line in 2014, will produce advanced 10-nanometer-class NAND flash memory chips used for devices such as smartphones and computers, the firm said in a statement on ground-breaking day. The world’s largest memorychip maker said earlier that the plant would produce 10,000 12-inch wafers a month. It also started a program to collaborate with researchers.
Machinery orders rise 4.6%
The country’s core machinery orders jumped 4.6 percent on-month in July, official figures showed yesterday, beating market forecasts, despite tough times for the nation’s manufacturers. The rise in the machinery orders, which are seen as a leading indicator of corporate capital spending, marked the second straight monthly increase and was well above economists’ expectations of a 1.4 percent rise. Machinery orders rose 5.6 percent in June. The data are watched for movements that may reflect the outlook for the broader economy.
Unemployment stays at 3.1%
The country’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.1 percent last month from a month earlier, despite a slowdown in job creation, official figures showed yesterday. Statistics Korea said 364,000 new jobs were created last month from a year earlier, weaker than July’s 470,000 increase. The unadjusted jobless rate was put at 3 percent, slightly down from the July figure of 3.1 percent.
Industrial output flat in July
The country’s industrial output was virtually flat in July from a year earlier, official data showed yesterday. Manufacturing, mining and electricity production grew just 0.1 percent, compared with market expectations of a 0.5 percent rise and well off the 3.7 percent seen in July last year. However, July’s small output rise was an improvement on the 1.8 percent contraction in June. Manufacturing output, which accounts for three-quarters of the Index of Industrial Production, shrank 0.2 percent from a year earlier in July, according to government figures.
Inflation rises to 2.1%
Rising energy prices pushed inflation in the country last month, above the threshold set by the European Central Bank, official data showed yesterday. Inflation stood at 2.1 percent year-on-year last month, national statistics office Destatis said in a statement, slightly revising higher its initial estimate made on Aug. 29. In July, the 12-month inflation rate had stood at 1.7 percent. On a monthly basis, the cost of living in Germany rose by 0.4 percent last month from July, also a fractional revision upward from the initial estimate.
Bailout sees US$15.1bn profit
The government has raked in US$15.1 billion in profits on its massive rescue of insurer AIG, the Treasury said on Tuesday in a rebuff to critics of the 2008-2009 bailout of the finance industry. The massive AIG rescue deal, using US$182 billion of taxpayer funds to save the foundering insurer, finally turned a profit after the Treasury sold off 636.9 million shares on Monday to private investors and the company itself, raising US$20.7 billion. The share sale cut the Treasury’s majority shareholding in the company to 15.9 percent.