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Share of household spending on alcohol, cigarettes drops

The ratio of Koreans’ spending on alcohol and cigarettes to their total spending fell to a record low in the third quarter as people grew concerned about their health, data showed Monday.

Koreans’ expenditures on alcohol and cigarettes reached 3.49 trillion won ($3.08 billion) on a seasonally adjusted basis in the July-September period, accounting for 2.35 percent of their total consumption spending, according to data by the Bank of Korea. In the cited period, total households’ expenditures stood at 148.6 trillion won.

The share of third-quarter spending on alcohol and cigarettes reached the lowest level since 1970 when the central bank compiled related data.

The economic recovery revived consumer spending, helping the volume of households’ expenditures grow since the second quarter of last year, but the percentage of their spending on those products has declined.

Households’ real (inflation-adjusted) spending on alcohol and cigarettes fell 0.5 percent on-year in the third quarter, marking the seventh straight quarter of negative growth.

But Koreans have spent more money on medical services, indicating the number of health-conscious people are increasing amid an aging society.

Households’ spending on medical services reached 10.06 trillion won in the third quarter, accounting for a record high of 6.8 percent of total consumer expenditures. (Yonhap News)
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