S Korea's consumer sentiment remains steady in Dec.

16:49, December 28, 2009      

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South Korea's consumer sentiment remained steady in December from a month earlier as consumers remained cautious on the economic outlook, the central bank said Monday.

According to the Bank of Korea (BOK), the consumer survey index(CSI) for December 2009 posted 113, the same level as in November when the figure hit over a seven-year high.

The CSI is a measure of consumers' overall economic outlook, living conditions and future spending, whose reading above 100 indicates that optimistic views exceed pessimistic ones.

While the overall figure remained solid above the 100-level, consumer sentiment on living standard and prospective living standard both declined 1 point from a month ago, hitting 95 and 106, respectively.

Consumer sentiment on the world economic situation and domestic economic situation also inched down on month, with the former declining 4 points to 106 and the latter shedding 1 point to 118.

Meanwhile, consumer sentiment on prospective prices climbed 4 points from 135 to 139, compared with expected inflation which fell 0.1 percentage point from November to 3.2 percent.

"Although the economy is picking up on improving domestic demand and exports, consumers remained cautious due to lingering economic uncertainty," said Jeong Kui-yun, an official at the BOK who was quoted as saying by the Yonhap News Agency.

The data came after the BOK in mid-December revised up its growth outlook for next year, saying the South Korean economy is expected to grow 4.6 percent next year on the back of robust consumer spending and exports.

Despite of its rosy outlooks on the economy, the bank also saidit would maintain accommodative monetary policies for the time being until the labor market shows a clear sign of recovery.

Source: Xinhua
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