Bloomberg News

South Korean Consumer Confidence Rises Even as Kospi Tumbles

November 24, 2011

Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) -- South Korean consumer confidence rose to a six-month high, even as Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis roiled global markets and dragged down the benchmark Kospi index of stocks.

The sentiment index rose to 103 in November from October’s 100, the Bank of Korea said in an e-mailed statement. A reading of 100 indicates the number of optimists is equal to the number of pessimists.

South Korea’s unemployment rate fell back to a three-year low of 3.1 percent in October as jobs increased in service industries and among retailers and wholesalers, Statistics Korea data showed Nov. 9. The Kospi index tumbled 2.4 percent yesterday and 6.6 percent this month as weakness in economic data from the U.S. and China stoked concern that global growth is fading.

“Consumer sentiment recovered after deteriorating in August and September on the U.S. credit rating downgrade and the spreading European debt crisis,” said Jang Wan Sub, a senior economist in the central bank’s economic survey team. “Still, it’s difficult to say the overall economic outlook is bright as some sub-indices are still below 100.”

A sub-index measuring consumers’ views of the economic outlook rose to 86 from 78 in October.

The consumer confidence index is based on survey responses from 2,002 households in 56 cities. It was conducted by mail and telephone between Nov. 11 and Nov. 18.

--Editors: Paul Panckhurst, Brett Miller

To contact the reporter on this story: Jiyeun Lee in Seoul at jlee1029@bloomberg.net

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


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