The Korean government is putting forth its best efforts to shore up economic sentiment, but so far, those efforts are not bearing fruit.
The Bank of Korea said Friday that the nation's consumer sentiment index stood at 105 in July, down 2 points from a month earlier.
The figure had rebounded in June, suggesting that Korean consumers might be returning to their spending habits, which changed after April's ferry tragedy.
The index hovered at around the 108 level in the first four months of this year, but dropped to 105 in May following the disaster.
The figure returned to that level this month, and experts say that reflects the nation's still sluggish domestic demand.
The monthly index is a gauge of the overall economic outlook of consumers, their living conditions and future spending plans.
A reading over one-hundred means optimists outnumber pessimists.
A recent poll by Nielsen showed that Korea's consumer sentiment is near the bottom among 60 countries worldwide.
The figures cast a cloud over President Park's new economic team and their attempts to pull the economy out of a low-growth rut by boosting domestic demand.
While announcing plans to pump money into the economy in the second half of this year, Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan also pledged to map out the budget for next year in an expansionary manner.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.
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