South Korea’s credit card spending expanded 16.2 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier amid the country’s consumer price advance, a trade association said Wednesday.
Purchases made by credit card amounted to 105.2 trillion won ($96.9 billion) during the January-March period, compared with 90.6 trillion won in the same period last year, according to the Credit Finance Association.
The data includes spending by credit cards as well as debit and prepaid cards. Cash advances and overseas spending were not included.
“The first quarter’s sharp spending growth came as consumer prices increased about 4.5 percent during the cited period and the number of credit cards in use also expanded,” an official at the association said.
As of the end of end of 2010, a total of 85.14 million credit cards were in use, up 11.5 percent from end-2009, the association said.
In March alone, credit card spending reached 37.5 trillion won,14.7 percent more than a year earlier, it added.