Korea: Consumer confidence drops for fifth consecutive month in April
April 25, 2018
The Bank of Korea’s composite consumer sentiment index declined for the fifth consecutive month in April, representing the longest downturn since the record began in July 2008. The index fell to 107.1 points in April from 108.1 points in March. Despite the month-on-month decline, consumer confidence remained above the 100-point threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among Korean households.
April’s weaker reading was due to decreased consumer optimism regarding future income and spending levels, continuing the trend that began earlier this year despite an increase in the minimum wage rate in January. Consumers likely felt apprehension in April about the financial consequences of fewer working hours being available from July, when a law limiting the maximum hours worked in a week comes into effect. Moreover, consumers were more pessimistic about current and future domestic economic conditions. Meanwhile, consumers’ assessments of current and future living standards were unchanged.
Korea Private Consumption Forecast
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect private consumption to expand 2.7% in 2018, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. For 2019, the panel sees private consumption growth at 2.5%.
Author: Edward Gardner, Economist