South Korea consumer sentiment weakens in August on growth worries

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s consumer sentiment weakened in August for the first time in six months, a central bank survey showed on Tuesday, amid worries about sluggish economic growth.

The consumer sentiment index fell to 103.1 from 103.2 the previous month, the Bank of Korea’s monthly survey of consumers showed, in its first decline since February.

Consumers’ assessment of current economic conditions and future economic outlook worsened, dragging the headline index lower and offsetting improvements in the outlook for living conditions and for income.

“Economic cycle-related indexes fell on risks to exports from China and a delayed recovery of the semiconductor industry,” a BOK official said at a media briefing.

Consumers’ inflation expectations for the next 12 months stood at a median of 3.3%, unchanged from the month before, the survey also showed.

(Reporting by Jihoon Lee; editing by Jason Neely)