S.Korea's March factory output expands unexpectedly as virus disrupts Chinese production

South Korea's factory output unexpectedly expanded at its sharpest pace in nearly 11 years in March, official data showed on Wednesday, aided by virus-related production disruptions in China and new product launches.

SEOUL, April 29 (Reuters) - South Korea's factory output unexpectedly expanded at its sharpest pace in nearly 11 years in March, official data showed on Wednesday, aided by virus-related production disruptions in China and new product launches.

Industrial output rose by a seasonally adjusted 4.6% in March from a month earlier, far better than a 1.3% fall tipped in a Reuters survey and the biggest expansion since a 7.3% jump in February 2009. It shrank 3.8% in February.

"There has been a temporary increase in factory output due to launch of new cars in March, while demand for electronic components from South Korea rose on production disruptions at Chinese companies," a statistics agency official told Reuters.

On a year-on-year basis, the factory output jumped 7.1%, compared with a 11.3% rise in February.

(Reporting by Joori Roh, Cynthia Kim; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

((joori.roh@thomsonreuters.com; +82 2 6936 1493;))

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