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South Korea says weak consumption may persist, drag on economy

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South Korea rejected a US proposal to revise a five-year-old trade deal as the Trump administration pushed for major changes it believes will address the trade imbalance between the two countries.

[SEOUL] South Korea's finance ministry said on Thursday that sluggish consumption in Asia's fourth-largest economy may continue due to uncertainties stemming from policy changes in the United States and consumer sentiment at home dented by a political scandal.

In its monthly assessment of the economy for the prior month, the finance ministry added that the recent recovery in exports was a positive factor for the economy, which had in turn, improved investment.

However, slow growth in consumption continues to remain a drag on the overall recovery of South Korea's economy, the statement said.

Consumer sentiment has plunged to multi-year lows since December amid an influence-peddling scandal involving President Park Geun-Hye.

Ms Park has since been impeached by parliament and the Constitutional Court will make a decision soon on whether to uphold parliament's vote.

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To address this weakness in consumption, the government said it plans to prop up the monitoring of the economic situation inside and outside the country and funnel budget spending towards improving private consumption, investment and exports.


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