Korea: Consumer sentiment inches up in March
April 18, 2012
In March, the Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI) published by the Bank of Korea rose to 101 points from 100 points in February, marking the strongest level in four months. At the current level, the index sits slightly above the 100-point threshold that separates optimistic from pessimistic territory. In comparison to February, households were less pessimistic about their current and future domestic economic conditions, whereas their assessment on current living standards deteriorated. In addition, households' expectations regarding their short-term income also improved compared to February. That said, the slight improvements failed to translate into better prospects for major purchases of goods, which remained unchanged over the previous month. The March rise in consumer confidence implies better prospects for private consumption going forward.