SEOUL, July 8 Sales at South Korea's top
department and discount store chains fell in June, adding to
concerns that the country's economic recovery is faltering.
Combined sales at department stores run by Hyundai
Department Store, Lotte Shopping and
Shinsegae Co fell 3.4 percent last month from a year
before, the finance ministry said in a report on Tuesday,
It was the steepest fall since an 8.2 percent decline in
January last year.
Sales at major discount-store chains in June slipped 5.8
percent compared to a year ago, which was the fastest fall since
a 23.1 percent drop in February.
Department and discount store sales had rebounded in May
after falling for three straight months, which eased some
concerns that spending would take a sustained hit from a
darkened public mood after a ferry sinking in April that killed
more than 300 people.
Revised department and discount store sales will be released
later in the month by the trade ministry.
Data last week showed South Korea's industrial output shrank
the most in over five years in May, lending credence to the
growing view that the central bank would delay the start of
interest rate hikes to support growth. Exports have also been
(Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Kim Coghill)