Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- South Korean consumer confidence rose to the highest level in three months as signs of an improvement in the U.S. economy and progress in resolving Europe’s debt crisis helped reduce external risks.
The sentiment index rose to 100 in February from January’s 98, the Bank of Korea said in an e-mailed statement today. A reading of 100 indicates the number of optimists is equal to the number of pessimists.
South Korea’s Finance Minister Bahk Jae Wan said yesterday that the risks from Europe have receded and uncertainties in the global economy have eased now that a second bailout plan for Greece has been agreed. Finance Ministers from the Group of 20 nations are expected to discuss ways to increase the International Monetary Fund’s lending capacity when they meet in Mexico City on Feb. 25 and 26.
The expected inflation rate over the next year is 4 percent, compared with 4.1 percent last month, today’s report showed.
The consumer confidence index is based on survey responses from 2,062 households in 56 cities. It was conducted by mail and telephone between Feb. 10 and Feb. 17.
--Editors: Nerys Avery, Brett Miller
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