South Korea consumer sentiment improves to nine-month high in March

SEOUL : South Korea’s consumer sentiment improved in March to its highest level in nine months, with inflation expectations easing from a month earlier, a central bank survey showed on Wednesday.

The consumer sentiment index rose to 92.0 in March from 90.2 in February, according to the Bank of Korea. It was the highest since June 2022 but still below the 100-mark of the long-term average of the last two decades.

A sub-index that measures the outlook for living conditions rose 1.1 points, leading the headline index higher. That for the spending outlook, down 0.7 points, was the only sub-index which fell.

“The rise of the living conditions index came as inflation slowed in recent months and the government announced plans to delay public cost increases,” said a central bank official during a briefing held prior to the data release.

The median of consumers’ inflation expectations for the next 12 months fell to 3.9 per cent from 4.0 per cent in the previous month, the survey also showed.

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