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South Korea March dept store sales seen up, discount store sales weak

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Sales at South Korea's top department stores rebounded in March from a decline in the previous month, preliminary data from the finance ministry showed on Friday.

[SEOUL] Sales at South Korea's top department stores rebounded in March from a decline in the previous month, preliminary data from the finance ministry showed on Friday.

Combined sales at department stores run by Hyundai Department Store, Lotte Shopping and Shinsegae Co were up 4.8 per cent on-year in March, according to data from the finance ministry.

Department store sales fell 1.9 per cent in February due to distortions caused by a holiday then.

Discount store sales dropped 7.0 per cent in February and they are seen falling again by an estimated 1.4 per cent on-year, the data showed.

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Meanwhile, sales of cars manufactured in South Korea surged 18.9 per cent year-on-year in March, the fastest rise in five months, thanks to the government's plan to extend a tax cut scheme for auto consumers.

March car sales accelerated from a 9.0 per cent rise seen in February.

South Korea's economy is seeing increasing signs of recovery supported by policies like the auto tax cut scheme, improving exports and a rebound in sentiment, the finance ministry said, but it faces offshore risks like sluggish global growth and volatility in financial markets.

REUTERS

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