South Korea's industrial electricity consumption rose for five straight quarters in the first three months of the year on a sharp upturn in the chipmaking and chemical sectors, the government said Thursday.
The amount of electricity consumed by the country's industrial sector reached 71.06 billion kilowatt-hours in the January-March period, up 2.4 percent from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The quarterly figure has been on a steady rise since the first quarter of 2016 when it turned around to mark a 1.5 percent on-year gain.
Industrial electricity sales are often considered a barometer of industrial activity as companies use more power when business is good and cut back when demand is low.
The on-year increase was led by a months-long rally in exports, which continued in an upbeat mode for five months in a row since November last year on the back of a recovery in the world economy.