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South Korea's May consumer sentiment ticks up to 7-month high

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A central bank survey of South Korean consumers in May showed sentiment rose for a second straight month to its highest level in seven months, backing policymakers' remarks that consumption has been showing signs of recovery.

[SEOUL] A central bank survey of South Korean consumers in May showed sentiment rose for a second straight month to its highest level in seven months, backing policymakers' remarks that consumption has been showing signs of recovery.

The composite consumer sentiment index (CCSI) ticked up to 105 in May from 104 in April, the Bank of Korea said. It was the highest index reading since October last year.

A reading above 100 indicates that consumers who expect economic and living conditions to improve in the coming month outnumber those who expect them to deteriorate.

Policymakers, including the finance minister and central bank chief, have said domestic spending and investment have shown signs of improvement in recent weeks.

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The same survey showed South Koreans expected consumer inflation for the next 12 months to stay at 2.5 per cent, unchanged from the previous month's result.

More than 60 per cent of those surveyed said public utility costs were expected to affect inflation the most in the coming year, followed by housing costs.

The Bank of Korea said it surveyed more than 2,000 households nationwide from May 11 to 18.

REUTERS

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