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South Korea Dec consumer sentiment drops to lowest in 7-1/2 years
[SEOUL] South Korean consumer sentiment fell to the worst level in more than 7-1/2 years in December, a central bank survey showed, as Koreans anticipated a weaker economy amid political crisis and turbulent financial markets.
The composite consumer sentiment index (CCSI) fell to 94.2 in December from 95.8 in November, the Bank of Korea said.
A reading below 100 indicates pessimists outnumber optimists in their expectation of economic and living conditions for the coming month.
The December reading is the lowest since April 2009, when the index was the same level, and marks a further decline from November, when it tumbled to 95.8 from 101.9 a month earlier.
Households were more pessimistic than in November about growth momentum as fears of policy paralysis continued, with a sub-index on households' view of economic assessments falling five points to 55 in December.
South Korea's constitutional court is reviewing the impeachment vote on President Park Geun-Hye passed by parliament on Dec 9. She is accused of colluding with a friend to pressure big businesses into making financial contributions to non-profit foundations.
Ms Park is stripped of her powers while she waits for the court to make ruling on the parliamentary vote, a process that could take up to 180 days.