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South Korea April dept store sales seen surging, discount store sales bounce

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South Korea's top department stores scored a second month of sales growth in April, preliminary government data showed on Tuesday, backing recent surveys showing consumers are feeling better about the economy.

[SEOUL] South Korea's top department stores scored a second month of sales growth in April, preliminary government data showed on Tuesday, backing recent surveys showing consumers are feeling better about the economy.

Combined sales at department stores run by Hyundai Department Store, Lotte Shopping and Shinsegae Co were seen up 8.0 per cent on-year in April, according to data from the finance ministry.

That would be much stronger growth than a 0.3 per cent rise in March and mark the fastest gain since January this year.

The data also showed sales at discount stores last month likely rebounded to be up 0.2 per cent in annual terms from a 4.6 per cent drop in March.

Domestic consumption is showing broad improvement supported by consumer spending although exports continue to fall, the finance ministry said in the statement. It also added the pace of recovery in the private sector was still weak, noting that offshore risks persist as global growth remains sluggish.

The trade ministry will release finalised figures later this month.

REUTERS