Retail sales in South Korea fall for the 4th consecutive month for the first time in 24 years due to high consumer pricesNews

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Retail sales in South Korea fell in June due to rising prices and higher interest rates.
This is the first time in 24 years that the index has fallen for four consecutive months.
Industrial production, however, was on the rise.
Lee Rae-hyun has more.

South Koreans spent less money in June.
Data from Statistics Korea on Friday showed retail sales fell for the fourth consecutive month for the first time in 24 years.
The country’s retail sales index, a barometer of consumer demand, stood at 118.3 in June, down 9% from the previous month.
The agency attributed the fall to rising consumer prices and rising interest rates.
Declining demand for outdoor activities due to scorching weather and heavy rains was also mentioned as a contributing factor.
Spending on related areas, such as outdoor sports activities, fell 9% last month.
The agency added, however, that consumer spending was seeing an overall recovery.

“Although retail sales of goods like cars, clothing and food have declined, spending on accommodation and food services is seeing strong growth this quarter, so we view this as a recovery in consumer spending.”

South Korea’s industrial production rose 0.6% month on month to 117.9.
This is the second month in a row that production has increased.
Last month’s increase was largely due to increased output in manufacturing, including semiconductors and cars.
In terms of semiconductors, eased chip supply issues drove the increase to 4.2% month-on-month.

Meanwhile, equipment investment rose 4.1% as conditions in the semiconductor equipment supply chain improved.
But according to an expert, despite the rise in industrial production and investment, with sluggish domestic spending, the country’s growth will be mainly driven by exports.

“We seem to be heading towards a future where production may be doing well, but domestic consumption is not, so that points to an economy that is still dependent on exports.”

The expert added that the country may see more optimism based on an expected drop in oil prices which will lead to lower inflation in the second half of this year.
Lee Rae-hyun, Arirang News.

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