South Korea’s consumer confidence rebounds

Seoul, May 27 (IANS) Confidence among South Korean consumers rebounded following the government’s extra budget and the central bank’s rate cut, central bank data showed Monday.

Composite consumer sentiment index (CCSI) rose 2 points from a month earlier to 104 in May, staying above the benchmark 100 for five straight months, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). A reading above 100 means optimists outnumber pessimists, reported Xinhua.

The result came amid stimulus policies taken by both the finance ministry and the

central bank. The BOK cut its policy rate by 25 basis points to 2.5 percent at the May rate-setting meeting. The finance ministry unveiled the supplementary budget worth 17.3 trillion won ($15 billion) in mid-April that was passed through parliament earlier this month.

Sub-indices showed a upbeat picture. Consumer sentiment on current living standards rose one point, with the figure for prospective living conditions increasing one point. Sentiment on current economic conditions jumped 5 points, with the reading for prospective economic situation surging 9 points.

Inflation expectations among consumers over the next 12 months came in at an annual rate of 2.9 percent in May, down 0.2 percentage point from the prior month.

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