Korea’s consumer sentiment turns mildly positive for first time in 7 months

2019.11.27 10:45:42 | 2019.11.27 14:59:07

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South Korea’s consumer sentiment turned mildly positive in November for the first time in seven months as growing expectations for a settlement in U.S-China trade talks boosted local stock markets.

The composite consumer sentiment index (CCSI) rose 2.3 points on month to 100.9 in November, exceeding the 100 mark for the first time in seven months, the Bank of Korea said Wednesday.

The index has been improving since September amid positive signals of a potential U.S.-China trade deal. Korean stocks have also marched steadily higher, with the benchmark Kospi up 8.29 percent over the past three months.

An index reading of above 100 means there are more optimists about the economy, while a reading below 100 means there are more pessimists.

The index tracking sentiment about current economic conditions improved 1 point from the previous month to 73 in November. The index tracking expectations about the future also jumped 4 points to 81.

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Consumers anticipated improvement in their livelihood and income, with the index for both figures climbing 2 points to 95 and 99, respectively.

The index measuring expectations on future housing prices surged 5 points to 120, the highest since September 2018, as government efforts to curb soaring apartment prices in Seoul have largely proven ineffective.

Consumers saw inflation over the past year to be 1.8 percent, unchanged from the previous month. Inflation expectations for the following year also remained the same at 1.7 percent.

By Kim Tae-sung and Kim Hyo-jin

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