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Quiet Korean cash registers disappoint again as consumption sags

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Sales at South Korea's top department stores were weaker than estimated, government data showed on Tuesday, as they fell for a second straight month in annual terms and added to concerns over weak domestic consumption in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

[SEOUL] Sales at South Korea's top department stores were weaker than estimated, government data showed on Tuesday, as they fell for a second straight month in annual terms and added to concerns over weak domestic consumption in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

Combined sales last month at department stores run by Hyundai Department Store, Lotte Shopping and Shinsegae Co slipped 2.2 per cent in October from a year earlier, the trade ministry said in a statement.

This was worse than a 0.9 per cent fall estimated earlier this month but a shortened drop compared to a 6.3 per cent decline seen in September.

The ministry attributed the fall in sales to fewer discount events at stores during October.

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Sales at major discount-store chains edged down 0.9 per cent in October from a year earlier, the same government data showed, nearly unchanged from a 0.4 per cent fall estimated earlier and compared to a 10.1 per cent drop in September.

Discount-store chain sales also declined for a second straight month with weak sales blamed on an increased number of stores shutting on Sundays by regulations aimed at promoting traditional markets.

REUTERS

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