South Korea's industrial production rose for two straight months on the back of recovery in private consumption, a government report showed on Friday.
Production in overall industries gained 0.6 percent in March from a month earlier after growing 0.6 percent in February, according to Statistics Korea.
The continued growth came as private consumption recovered in the wake of strong demand for newly released smartphones, including Samsung's Galaxy S7 and LG's G5, and consumption tax cuts that led to brisk sales of automobiles.
Retail sales expanded 4.2 percent in March on a month basis, marking the highest monthly increase since February 2009.
Car sales jumped 18.2 percent in March, after climbing 9.3 percent in February. Sales of non-durable goods such as food and beverage rose 1.2 percent last month, with those for semi-durables like clothing increasing 3.3 percent.
Confidence among consumers improved. The composite consumer sentiment index (CCSI) rose for two straight months in April at 101, indicating that optimists outnumbered pessimists, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK) data.