Consumers’ worries on inflation dipped in Feb.

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Consumers’ worries on inflation dipped in Feb.

Korean consumers’ inflation expectations eased slightly in February from the previous month, the Bank of Korea said yesterday.

Korean consumers expect inflation in Asia’s fourth-largest economy to reach a yearly average of 4 percent over the next 12 months, according to a survey by the BOK.

In January, the median expectation for the inflation rate stood at 4.1 percent.

The February reading was slightly lower than the previous month’s data, but inflation expectations failed to fall below the 4 percent ceiling of the central bank’s target range.

“As global oil prices are rising due to Iran issues that will likely have a negative impact on domestic consumer prices, it won’t be easy to see a sharp drop in inflation expectations,” said Jang Wan-sub, an economist at the BOK.

While the percentage of those expecting consumer prices to grow within the government’s target of 2 to 4 percent grew 2 percentage points from January to 42.1 percent, the percentage of those expecting inflation to rise more than 4 percent fell 2.2 percentage points to 53.9 percent.

Consumer confidence rose for the first time in three months in February.

The consumer sentiment index stood at 100, compared with 98 the previous month, according to the BOK.

A reading below 100 means pessimists on the future economy outnumber optimists. Yonhap

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