Consumer confidence slips in February but is still positive

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Consumer confidence slips in February but is still positive

Korea’s key consumer sentiment index slipped in February, a central bank survey showed yesterday, but it remained high enough to suggest private consumption in Asia’s fourth-largest economy is still on track for recovery.

The Bank of Korea said in a statement that its composite consumer sentiment index, compiled from its monthly survey, was 108 in February compared with 109 in January, the highest level since February 2011.

Although February’s reading was the index’s first drop since September, it was still above the past 12-month average of around 105. A reading above 100 indicates positive consumer sentiment about conditions over the coming months compared with the long-term average sentiment accumulated from 2003 to 2013. The index has stayed above 100 since January last year.

The index figure comes a day after President Park Geun-hye unveiled a three-year blueprint to boost the economy. It emphasized growth in private consumption and reducing the country’s reliance on exports.

Meanwhile, the central bank said in the same statement that the median expected consumer inflation rate for the next 12 months stood at 2.9 percent, holding steady for a sixth consecutive month and well above the actual inflation rate of 1.1 percent in January. The Bank of Korea said it surveyed more than 2,200 households nationwide from Feb. 12 to 19.


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