South Korea’s consumer sentiment rebounds in May

Data released by the nation’s central bank
shows an uptick in consumer confidence. However, many fear such optimism may not last
long, as there’s little to celebrate when looking at the dismal job market. Kim Hyesung breaks down the digits for us. South Korea’s consumer confidence rebounded
in May after five straight months of decline since December. The Bank of Korea says,… the country’s consumer
sentiment index rose to 1-hundred-7-point-nine in May,… up zero-point-eight points from
the previous month. A reading above 100 means… there are more
optimists than pessimists about the economy in the coming months. The central bank attributed the uptick to
the recent thaw in inter-Korean relations and the prospects of a North Korea-U.S. summit
next month. But with gloomy economic figures like sluggish
job growth over the last three months, experts say the uptick in consumer sentiment may be
temporary. The consumer sentiment index is a leading
indicator. But there have been cases where a rise in
consumer sentiment didn’t translate into an actual rise in consumption. Also, we have to see what happens with the
ongoing trade spat between the U.S. and China, and rising U.S. protectionism, as these factors
could impact consumer sentiment.” Three of the six key indices that gauge consumer
confidence went up. The index measuring people’s sentiment toward
current economic conditions rose three points to 89, and the sentiment on economic outlook
for the next six months jumped five points to 101. Inflation expectations, which reflect the
outlook for consumer price inflation over the next 12 months, stood at 2-point-6 percent
in May, unchanged from the previous month. Kim Hyesung, Arirang News.

Glenn Chapman

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