Bloomberg News

South Korea Consumer Confidence Stays at Lowest Since March

September 26, 2011

Sept. 27 (Bloomberg) -- South Korean consumer confidence remained at the lowest level since March as people braced for a global economic slowdown.

The sentiment index was 99 in September, the same as in the previous month, the Bank of Korea said in an e-mailed statement today. A reading below 100 indicates people are more pessimistic than the average between the first quarter of 1999 and the second quarter of 2008.

The Bank of Korea left interest rates unchanged for a third straight month in September as the risk of the global recovery stalling outweighed concerns about inflation. Consumer prices climbed 5.3 percent in August, the highest in three years, exceeding the central bank’s 4 percent limit for the eighth straight month.

The expected inflation rate over the next year was 4.3 percent, faster than last month’s 4.2 percent and the most since November 2008, today’s report showed.

A sub-index measuring consumers’ views of their living situation fell to 83 in September from 86 in the previous month, while a sub-index reflecting their perception of the economy dropped to 64 from 68 in August.

The consumer confidence index is based on survey responses from 2,046 households in 56 cities. It was conducted by mail and telephone between Sept. 14 and Sept. 21.

--Editors: Ken McCallum, John Brinsley

To contact the reporter on this story: William Sim in Seoul at wsim2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Panckhurst at ppanckhurst@bloomberg.net


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