S.Korea's fin min expects Dec exports to drop significantly less than recent months

SEOUL, Dec 30 (Reuters) - South Korea’s finance minister said on Monday that he expects the rate of decline in December exports to be significantly lower than in recent months.

“Recent trend in economic indicators supports expectations of an economic rebound next year, and the rate of decline in exports, which have been sluggish so far, ... are expected to be significantly lower (than in recent months),” Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki told a news conference.

He noted data released earlier this month showing exports from Asia’s fourth-largest economy during Dec. 1-20 fell by only 2% from a year earlier, the slowest rate in a year and less than the 9.6% decline during Nov. 1-20.

The full-month December export data will be released on Wednesday.

Hong also said that November industrial activity data released earlier on Monday provided positive aspects for an economic recovery.

The index of all industrial production in November rose 0.4% from a month earlier, compared with no change in October, Statistics Korea data showed. (Reporting by Joori Roh; editing by Christian Schmollinger)