SEOUL Aug 27 South Korea's key consumer
sentiment index was unchanged in August for a third consecutive
month at a year-long high as South Koreans remained optimistic
on living standards, a central bank survey showed on Tuesday.
The survey contrasts markedly with recent consumption and
earnings data, suggesting South Koreans' may feel better about
the economy but are still hesitant to spend.
The composite consumer index (CCSI) was measured at 105 in
August, matching readings posted in July and June, according to
Bank of Korea data. It was the highest since May last year.
A reading above 100 indicates that consumers who expect
economic and living conditions to improve in the coming month
outnumber those who expect them to worsen.
Sales in department and discount store sales fell
simultaneously in annual terms in July for the first time in
three months, dimming South Korea's third quarter outlook.
South Korean households' disposable income grew in the
second quarter this year for a ninth consecutive quarter but
household consumption spending continued to fall on an uncertain
Meanwhile, the median expected inflation rate for the next
12 months rose for a second straight month to 3.0 percent in
August from 2.9 percent in July.
It was the highest since the estimate of 3.1 percent in
April this year, with more than half the respondents saying
public utility costs were most likely to drive up inflation.
The Bank of Korea said its sentiment and expectations survey
gathered responses from nearly 2,000 households across the
nation from Aug. 12 to 20.
(Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Eric Meijer)