Consumer confidence rebounds on eased tension

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Consumer confidence rebounds on eased tension

South Korea’s consumer confidence rebounded in October as tensions subsided between North Korea and the United States, a central bank survey showed Friday.

The composite consumer sentiment index for October stood at 109.2, up 1.5 points from the previous month, according to a survey from the Bank of Korea.

In August, the index fell 1.3 points from July. A reading above 100 means optimists outnumber pessimists. Consumer sentiment was also weak in September.

The bank attributed the rebound to eased tensions between North Korea and the United States, and improved public sentiment about the economy overall.

Tensions have spiked on the Korean Peninsula following North Korea’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test and a series of ballistic missile launches. A war of words between the leaders of North Korea and the United States has stoked fears of a possible military conflict.

Still, tensions have recently subsided as North Korea has not carried out any provocations since Sept. 15, when it launched a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean.

The Bank of Korea also said its index measuring public sentiment about the economy was 91 in October, up from 87 the previous month.

In addition, an index measuring the public’s sentiment about forecasted economic conditions in the next six months rose to 99 from 96 over the cited period.

The latest monthly index is based on a survey of 2,020 households throughout the country from Oct. 13-20.


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