S Korea's consumer sentiment falls to eight-month low in March

13:47, March 25, 2010      

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South Korea's consumer sentiment fell to an eight-month low in March amid worries on job market conditions, the central bank said Thursday.

According to the Bank of Korea (BOK), the consumer survey index (CSI) for March 2010 posted 110, slightly down from 111 tallied in February to the lowest level since last July.

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

While the overall figure remained solid above the 100-level, consumer sentiment on living standard remained flat, hitting 95, compared with that on prospective living standard declining 3 points to 104.

Consumer sentiment on economic situation hit 100, up from 99 in February, while that on expectations of domestic economic situations also added 3 points to stand at 113, the BOK said.

"The data showed consumers became more concerned over the job market while mostly remaining positive about the general economy," an official at the BOK was quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency.

In February, South Korea's jobless rate stood at 4.9 percent, still standing at a high level as companies stayed cautious to expand employment amid lingering uncertainties.

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