People visit a riverside park in Yeouido, western Seoul, on Oct. 18, as South Korea relaxed its social distancing measures to Level 1. (Yonhap)
South Korea’s consumer sentiment rose for the second consecutive month in November, as the economic outlook improved amid relaxed social distancing measures, central bank data showed Tuesday.
The composite consumer sentiment index (CCSI) came in at 97.9 for November, up 6.3 points from 91.6 recorded for October, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
The reading marks the second straight month of gains following a 12.2-point on-month rise in October.
A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists.
The data comes two days before the BOK holds this year’s final rate-setting meeting, with many analysts expecting the BOK to freeze its key rate at a record low.
The BOK said the rebound in consumer sentiment came as people presented a brighter economic outlook amid hopes of vaccine development.
On Oct. 12, South Korea lowered the social distancing measures after applying tougher virus curbs across the nation for about two months.
However, new virus cases have recently been on an upward trend as health authorities warned of a winter wave of coronavirus infections.
In August, the BOK trimmed its 2020 growth outlook to a sharper-than-expected contraction of 1.3 percent, citing the fallout of a flare-up in virus cases.
The index on people’s assessment of current economic conditions rose by 14 points to 72 in November, and the index gauging people’s sentiment toward future economic conditions reached 91 this month, up from 83 in October. (Yonhap)