S. Korea’s consumer sentiment rebounds in Sept.

September 27, 2018

SEOUL, Sept. 28 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s consumer confidence rebounded after a three-month slide in September on the back of brisk exports and low inflationary pressure, central bank data showed Friday.

The composite consumer sentiment index (CCSI) for this month stood at 101.7, up 2.5 points from the previous month, according to the survey by the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The figure had skidded since May to come to below the breakeven point of 100 in August due mainly to unsatisfactory employment data and the soaring prices of everyday goods, as well as unfavorable external circumstances. A reading above 100 means optimists outnumber pessimists.

“Solid exports, the upbeat stock market, and the slowdown in prices, among other factors, appear to have bolstered the consumer sentiment index,” an official the BOK said.

“People seem to think that the worst is over, as the government has put forth policy measures to boost the job market and to stabilize prices,” he added.

Of the components that make up the CCSI, respondents’ assessment of overall economic conditions for the next six months increased 84 from 82, and the indices on their expectations for household income and consumption expenditures moved up 2 points each to 100 and 108, according to the data.

But the index on respondents’ forecast for future housing prices surged 10 points to 119, the highest level since October 2015, the latest findings showed, which reflects public anxiety over the overheated real estate market.

The latest BOK monthly index is based on a survey of 1,928 households throughout the country and was conducted from Sept. 10-17.