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South Korea April department store sales growth at 3-month high

Monday, May 30, 2016 - 10:39
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South Korea's department store sales in April rose at their fastest pace in three months, final government data showed on Monday, as warmer weather and more holidays in the month pried open consumers' wallets.

[SEOUL] South Korea's department store sales in April rose at their fastest pace in three months, final government data showed on Monday, as warmer weather and more holidays in the month pried open consumers' wallets.

Combined sales at department stores run by Hyundai Department Store, Lotte Shopping and Shinsegae Co rose 4.3 per cent in April from a year earlier, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.

This accelerated from a 0.3 per cent growth in March and was the best performance since a 9.0 per cent jump in January.

An extra public holiday in mid-April thanks to the parliamentary election helped boost sales, which were also underpinned by warmer-than-usual weather, the trade ministry said.

Sales of well known foreign brands rose the most among department store goods, surging 8.6 per cent on-year in April as the average daily high temperature last month reached 20.3 deg C, up from 18.8 deg C last April.

The same data showed discount store sales rose 1.7 per cent in April from a year earlier, rebounding from a 4.6 per cent decline in March.

Sales were also helped by the additional holiday and warmer weather as apparel saw the most demand out of discount store goods, the trade ministry data said.

Preliminary data from the finance ministry had shown April department store sales would rise 8.0 per cent on-year and discount store sales up by 0.2 per cent.

REUTERS