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Korea's consumer sentiment dips in February Updated: 2014-02-27 06:38:29 KST

Korea's consumer sentiment dips in February
Korea's consumer sentiment index -- a gauge of consumers' overall economic outlook, living conditions and future spending -- dipped for the first time in five months in February
The Bank of Korea says the index came in at 1-hundred-08 this month, down one point from January when it hit an almost three-year high
It isn't all doom and gloom, however, as the reading, which is above 1-hundred, still means that the optimists outnumber the pessimists.
That said, consumers feeling less confident about the economy could raise red flags about future growth at a time when President Park is pushing to create more balance between domestic demand and exports.
She stated this on Tuesday as one of the goals of her three-year economic innovation plan.

"I will look to strengthen economic fundamentals, pursue a dynamic and innovative economy, and achieve a balance of domestic demand and exports to successfully push the Korean economy forward."

The Bank of Korea says the lukewarm consumer sentiment is largely due to consumers not being able to feel the economic recovery in their everyday lives.
The sub-index measuring medical expenses and housing expenses dropped two points and one point respectively in February.

"The income growth rate has slowed down. Because of the increase in household debt and the fact that our population is aging, people aren't spending as much."

In order to achieve the president's targeted economic growth of four percent by 2017, all eyes are fixed on whether the government has the right measures in place to boost flagging domestic demand.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.
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