-S.Korea Nov dept, discount store sales both up for 1st time since June

SEOUL Mon Dec 9, 2013 7:59pm EST

SEOUL Dec 10 (Reuters) - Sales at South Korea's top department and discount store chains grew simultaneously in November for the first time in five months, preliminary data showed on Tuesday, suggesting that growth will maintain momentum in the current quarter.

Sales at department stores run by Hyundai Department Store , Lotte Shopping and Shinsegae last month rose by 5.9 percent from a year earlier, the finance ministry said in a statement, following a 1.7 percent drop in October.

Sales at the country's top discount stores rose by 0.8 percent from a year earlier in November, compared with a 6.4 percent drop in October.

The data suggests that South Korea's economy will likely continue growing in the fourth quarter, though perhaps at a slower rate than the seasonally adjusted 1.1 percent seen in the July-September quarter.

The Bank of Korea said last week that fourth-quarter's sequential growth rate should be at least 0.8 percent.

(Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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