We had expected sales to have picked up in February after falling on month the preceding month, but this hasn't happened, which means that domestic consumption could be in trouble.
We continue to believe that inflation is currently the least worrisome among the key macroeconomic policy goals such as growth, inflation and balance of payments.
A stronger won will continue to hurt exports. That will damage the competitiveness of South Korean exports that still play a big role in economic growth.
The current account deficit shows that the dollar/won exchange-rate fall has meant deteriorating company profits, while savings have declined. The consumption recovery may soon be constrained by weak income growth.
If you look at the components there are quite a few worrisome points.
We expect the recent impressive recovery in industrial output to basically continue, based on exports and auto production data. February data are still prone to distortions from the Lunar New Year holiday.