Food & education tops list of economic burdens in Korea: KCA
The Korea Consumer Agency surveyed some 15-hundred men and women across the country on their spending habits over the past year.
Respondents were asked what particular expenses they felt were the greatest economic burdens in their lives.
More than a quarter of the people surveyed said that food costs amounted to their biggest annual expenditure.
Education was second on the list, followed by housing and medical spending.
Despite the high costs, Koreans placed a high importance on spending related to their diet and education.
A majority of the respondents also said they felt a heavy economic burden from imported agricultural, livestock and marine products.
A further investigation by the state agency found consumer satisfaction to be low for marriage, funeral arrangements, clothing and other expenses, as they felt the level of service didn't justify the high prices.
Experts say it's a result of Korean households feeling that their overall spending power has weakened amid the sluggish economy.
Economic sentiment among Koreans aged 20 years and older has been steadily declining.
The percentage of survey respondents who perceive themselves as being in the lower income bracket rose to over a third this year, up from less than 18 percent back in 2012.
Meanwhile, only about 60 percent now consider themselves in the middle class compared to 80 percent some 10 years ago.
The national consumer agency says the results of their survey show a need for additional and more specific measures to address the growing voice of burdened consumers.
Paul Yi, Arirang News
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