Gov’t mandates helping

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Gov’t mandates helping

As the number of large discount stores closed on the weekends increased, the economic sentiment index of traditional market traders rose as well, the Agency for Traditional Market Administration said yesterday.

According to a survey on the market trends released by the agency yesterday, the Market-Business Survey Index (M-BSI) was 61 points, 6.7 higher than last month’s results.

The M-BSI is an index identifying the overall economic activity among traditional markets, with a score less than 100 implying an economic downturn while a score more than 100 signifies an upturn.

The ATMA cited stabilized consumer sentiment after Chuseok, Korea’s major harvest festival, and the start of the kimchi-making season as the main causes for the increase in the number of people visiting traditional markets. Government ordinances mandating the closure of large discount stores has also had an effect.

“As local governments successively amended ordinances regarding the mandatory closed days, the number of large discount store chains closed on weekends has increased,” said Chae Seung-hee of the ATMA.

“It seems that the actual economic sentiment of merchants in traditional markets has risen.”

According to the data, the M-BSI for November showed improvement in all categories.

The number of customers rose by 12.6 points on-month to 63.5; sales went up by 12.0 points to 66.4; product prices jumped by 9.1 points to 105.6; profits rose by 8.3 points to 66.9; and financial situation increased by 8.3 points to 63.2.

The index also rose in all sectors except for household goods and restaurants.

The index for fish products rose by 20.1 points on-month to 72.8 and agricultural produce by 17.4 points to 69.1.

By Kim Jung-yoon [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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