Virus to weigh on services, exports from Feb: South Korean government think tank

SEOUL (Reuters) - The coronavirus outbreak may hit South Korea’s services sector and slow down a recovery in exports from February, the state-run think tank said on Sunday.

“Starting February, services production, particularly accommodation and food services, is expected to face a negative impact due to a decline in tourists and Korean residents,” the Korea Development Institute (KDI) said in a report, adding that slowing demand would limit the recovery in exports and domestic consumption.

The KDI also said a disruption in supply of parts from China may partially contract industrial production.

Earlier this week, the country's biggest carmaker Hyundai Motor 005380.KS said the company will suspend production in South Korea on disruption in supply of parts amid an extension in closure of factories in China.

The KDI, however, did not lay out the quantum of macroeconomic impact from the virus.

The survey, conducted between Jan. 22 and Jan. 29, does not fully reflect the conditions related to the virus, it also said.

Reporting by Joori Roh; editing by Uttaresh.V