* May ind output -2.7 pct m/m (Reuters poll: -0.5 pct)
* April output revised to -0.1 pct vs provisional +0.1 pct
* May data adds to signs of slowing economic recovery
SEOUL, June 27 South Korea's industrial output
fell by the most in more than five years in May from the
previous month, data showed on Friday, far missing market
expectations and adding to signs the economic recovery may be
The industrial output index fell by a seasonally adjusted
2.7 percent from April, the fastest monthly decline since a 10.5
percent drop in December 2008, data from Statistics Korea
The median forecast in a Reuters survey of economists was
for the industrial output index to decline 0.5 percent in May
on-month, although the forecasts were wide from a 3.7 percent
fall to a 1.0 percent gain.
Underscoring the weakness in manufacturing activity, the
April industrial output index was revised down to show a 0.1
percent drop on-month, compared with the preliminary 0.1 percent
gain reported, the data from Statistics Korea showed.
Analysts said poor exports in May led to the disappointing
production activity across all the sectors, although some say
distortions from long holidays during May exaggerated the
"Basically weak exports in May led to soft output numbers.
Half of what manufacturers make here are shipped abroad, so on
top of fewer working days, that affected output," said Park
Chong-hoon, economist at Standard Chartered Bank Korea.
On a year-on-year basis, industrial output fell 2.1 percent
in May after a revised 2.5 percent rise in April, also well
below a median 0.3 percent increase tipped by the Reuters
The statistics agency data also showed that service-sector
output rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent in May on a
monthly basis after a revised 1.2 percent decline in April.
Tepid global demand and relatively lacklustre consumer
spending at home have raised concerns of a rapid loss of
momentum in Asia's fourth-largest economy this quarter following
strong growth over the past year.
Consumer sentiment has lagged in recent months as the public
mood darkened after the April 16 sinking of a ferry that killed
more than 300 people. The deadly accident - the worst in two
decades - hurt domestic tourism and related services, putting a
dampener on overall economic activity.
The central bank's latest monthly survey this week showed
consumer sentiment rebounded in June after a sharp dip in May,
but failed to return to levels seen before the April accident.
The country's central bank chief, only in his third month in
office, also flagged some signs of slippage in the local economy
at his policy news conference earlier this month, saying the
recovery in domestic demand had "paused".
South Korea's economy grew 0.9 percent each in the first
quarter of this year and the fourth quarter of 2013, slower than
a 1.1 percent gain in the third quarter of 2013 but well above
the 0.5 percent average rise seen in 2012.
(Reporting by Christine Kim and Choonsik Yoo; Editing by Shri