중앙데일리

Consumer confidence at all-time high level

Oct 28,2009
As production and employment indicators improve, Korea’s consumer confidence also shot up this month, tying an all-time high, the nation’s central bank said yesterday.

The Bank of Korea said in a statement that the consumer sentiment index, based on a poll of 2,170 households nationwide, reached 117 this month, up from 114 in September. That is the highest figure since the first quarter of 2002, when the index also stood at 117.

The CSI has never reached a higher level since the BOK began to compile the data in the third quarter of 1995.

The central bank began releasing the index in monthly installments in July 2008.

A figure above 100 means that a majority of those polled believe the domestic economy and their living standards would improve in the coming months.

A majority of consumers forecast that general employment and their income conditions would improve, according to the BOK survey.

The index for job opportunities increased to 104 this month from 102 in September. The index for household incomes climbed to 106 from 103.

Earlier this month, the National Statistical Office said the number of the employed increased by 71,000 people last month over a year earlier, marking the highest growth in 10 months.

The agency said in a separate report at the start of this month that Korea’s industrial production increased on year in August for the second straight month.

According to the data released by the central bank on Monday, Korea’s gross domestic product grew 2.9 percent in the third quarter over the previous quarter - a higher-than-expected growth.

“The current recovery in production has boosted confidence among households, as has the increased activity in the property market,” Alaistair Chan, an associate economist in the Sydney office of Moody’s Economy.com, wrote in a note yesterday.

“But in all likelihood sentiment will turn slightly more pessimistic in the future,” he continued. “In September, production was boosted by the U.S. ‘cash for clunkers’ scheme, which sent exports of motor vehicles soaring. This effect is already fading.”


By Moon So-young [symoon@joongang.co.kr]




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