Korea: Consumer confidence rebounds in February from January's eight-year low
February 24, 2016
Consumer confidence rebounded in February after dropping to its lowest level since global financial crisis in January as consumers were dissatisfied with the country’s current political turmoil. According to the Bank of Korea’s latest Composite Consumer Sentiment Index (CCSI), the indicator edged up from 93.3 in January to 94.4 in February, which was the first increase since October 2016. The improvement came largely as a result of a recovery in exports, which recorded a double-digit expansion in January. However, consumer confidence remains below 100, which indicates that pessimists outnumber optimists.
While consumer sentiment concerning current and future economic conditions improved considerably in February over the previous month, consumers remain largely pessimistic about the state of the economy. Likewise, consumer sentiment regarding current and future living standards increased slightly in February. On a less positive note, consumers were more pessimistic about their future household income relative to the previous month, while sentiment regarding future household spending remained unchanged.
Author: Luis Lopez Vivas, Economist