(사진: 아이스톡)

생산과 투자가 2개월 연속 증가하는 등 4월 산업활동은 2개월 연속 개선 흐름을 이어감에 따라 경기가 최악의 국면에서 벗어나는 것이 아니냐는 관측이 나온다.

통계청은 31일 4월 산업활동동향에서 전산업생산이 전월 대비 0.7% 증가, 3월의 1.5% 증가에 이어 2개월 연속 증가했다고 밝혔다.

광공업생산은 반도체와 석유정제 업종의 생산이 증가해 전월 대비 1.6% 증가했다. 반도체 생산이 6.5% 증가했고 석유정제는 11.2%의 생산 증가율을 기록했다. 자동차 생산도 2.5% 증가했다.

광공업생산은 전년동월대비로도 0.7% 증가, 3월의 0.5% 감소에서 증가세로 돌아섰다. 자동차와 화학제품 생산이 각각 14.2%와 15.3% 증가했다.

제조업평균가동률도 72.6%로 전월 대비 1.0%p 상승하며 2개월 연속 상승했다. 다만 가동률 자체는 지난해의 73.5%에 미치지 못하는 등 낮은 수준에서 벗어나지 못하고 있다.

제조업 출하는 반도체를 중심으로 0.8% 감소했고, 제조업 재고는 2.5% 증가했다. 반도체업종의 재고가 15.3% 증가했다. 따라서 재고/출하 비율(재고율)은 115.1%로 전월보다 3.7%p 상승했다.

재고율 상승은 일반적으로 경기가 좋지 않다는 것을 의미하지만, 미래의 판매 증가에 대비해 기업이 미리 생산을 늘려 재고를 확보하면서 재고율이 상승하는 경우도 있다.

기획재정부 경제정책국의 한 관계자는 ”새로 출시되는 삼성의 휴대폰과 서버용 메모리 반도체 수요 증가에 대비해 반도체 업체들이 재고를 늘린 것으로 알고 있다“고 설명했다.

서비스업생산은 전월 대비 0.3% 증가, 2개월 연속 증가세를 나타냈다. 도소매는 1.1% 감소했으나, 숙박음식점업은 외국인 관광객 증가로 0.3% 증가하며 2개월째 증가세가 이어졌다.

소매판매는 전월 대비 1.2% 감소했다. 3월 중 공기청정기와 건조기 특수, 휴대폰 신제품 출시 효과 등으로 소매판매가 3.5% 급증한 데 따른 기저효과가 작용했다. 가전 등 내구재 판매가 4.2% 감소했고, 비내구재와 준내구재 판매도 각각 0.2% 감소했다.

설비투자는 전월 대비 4.6% 증가, 2개월째 증가세가 이어졌다. 반도체업계의 설비투자로 특수산업용기계등 기계류 투자가 8.1% 증가하면서 투자 증가를 견인했다.

하지만 건설투자는 건축과 토목 공사 실적이 모두 줄어 전월 대비 2.8% 감소했다.

경기동행지수와 경기선행지수 순환변동치는 10개월간 이어진 동반 하락세에서 벗어나 보합세를 나타냈다.

최악 국면 벗어나나

앞의 기재부 관계자는 4월 산업활동에 대해 ”경기가 1분기에 가장 안 좋고 2분기와 3분기로 갈수록 점차 개선될 것으로 예상하고 있었다“며 ”4월 지표는 이런 예상에 부합하는 수준이다. 동행지수와 선행지수 흐름도 이런 예상에 부합한다“고 평가했다.

그는 다만 ”대외여건 때문에 경기 흐름을 낙관적으로만 보기는 어렵다. 특히 5월 중에 미중 무역분쟁이 격화돼 5월 지표를 지켜봐야 한다“며 ”선행지수가 하락을 멈췄으나 미중 무역전쟁 여파로 구성지표인 코스피지수와 소비자심리지수가 하락했다. 5월 선행지수가 다시 하락할 가능성도 있어 보인다“고 말했다.

삼성증권의 정성태 이코노미스트도 ”일단 경기가 1분기의 급락에서 벗어나 둔화 흐름이 완화되고 있다“고 평가하고 ”2분기와 3분기에 경기가 다소 개선된 후 4분기에는 경기가 반등할 것“이라고 전망했다.

최근 악화한 미중 무역분쟁에 대해 정 이코노미스트는 ”현재로서는 실물 경제에 큰 영향을 미친다기보다 심리적인 요인으로 더 크게 작용하는 것 같다“며 ”장기화하면 실물 경제에 영향을 미치겠지만 어떤 식으로든 3분기까지는 타결될 것으로 보고 있다“고 말했다.

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