S. Korea’s consumer sentiment hits 22-year high: survey

SEOUL-- South Korea's consumer confidence has hit a 22-year high for the second half of the year on expectations for the country's newly inaugurated government, a survey showed Tuesday.

South Korea's overall consumer confidence for the July-December period stands at an average 78 on a full scale of 100, up 46.7 points from the first half, according to the Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence.

The latest Mastercard index is based on a survey of 9,153 people (407 South Koreans) in 18 markets in the Asia-Pacific region. It covers five categories -- economy, stock market, employment, quality of life and fixed income.

The number for Asia's fourth-largest economy marks the highest level since the 78.6 recorded in 1995 and is higher than the regional average of 66.9. South Korea's score is the eighth-highest among the nations, up seven notches from the first half.

It also dwarfs numbers for major economies in the region -- 49.2 for Australia, 45.4 for Singapore and 44.4 for Japan, the world's third-largest economy.

Mastercard attributed the jump in South Korea's consumer confidence to high expectations for the administration of President Moon Jae-in, who took office in May following the impeachment of his predecessor on graft and other charges.

According to the findings, Cambodia topped the region with an average of 93.1, trailed by Vietnam with 90.8 and Bangladesh with 89.4.

Last month, South Korea's central bank revised up its 2017 growth outlook for the Korean economy to 2.8 percent from an earlier 2.6 percent, citing global economic recovery and increased consumer spending.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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