Stores show sales up in May

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Stores show sales up in May

Sales at Korea’s top department and discount store chains both rose in May from a year earlier, finance ministry estimates showed yesterday, snapping three months of losses and easing concerns about domestic demand.

Combined sales at department stores run by Hyundai Department Store, Lotte Shopping and Shinsegae rose 2.0 percent last month from a year before, the ministry said in a report.

Sales at major discount store chains also climbed by a combined 1.7 percent in May from a year ago.

It was the first time in four months that sales in both categories of retail outlets grew. The figures came amid concerns that consumer spending could be hit by a darkening public mood from the Sewol ferry sinking in mid-April that killed more than 300 people.

Anecdotal evidence has shown the disaster hurt domestic tourism and leisure spending.

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