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South Korea sees govt-led discount sales boosting Q4 GDP
[SEOUL] A nationwide discount sale event launched by the government will boost South Korea's gross domestic product by 0.13 percentage point in the fourth quarter from a year ago, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said on Tuesday.
The event held from Sept 29 through Oct 31 will also boost private consumption in the fourth quarter by 0.27 percentage points from year ago levels, according to the ministry.
From last year, the government decided to set a period for large-scale discount sales by nearly all major retailers to boost consumer spending, similar to Black Friday and Cyber Monday that take place after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States.
The decision was spurred by an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in 2015, which dented consumption and tourism in Asia's fourth-largest economy.
South Korea still heavily relies on consumption to boost economic growth as exports are still on the mend after falling throughout last year and most of this year.
Sales at duty free stores jumped 36.6 per cent compared to last year's event while sales at department stores rose 8.8 per cent over the same period, the ministry data said.
This year's sales were more successful because retailers and government had more time to prepare, and more brands participated.
In the third quarter, South Korea's GDP rose by 0.7 per cent in seasonally adjusted quarterly terms and 2.7 per cent from a year ago. Both the government and Bank of Korea see 2016 GDP growth falling just below 3 per cent.