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Consumer sentiment worsens in December amid virus resurgence

Apartment complexes in Korea (Yonhap)
Apartment complexes in Korea (Yonhap)
South Korea's consumer sentiment index dropped for the first time in four months in December due to concerns over the resurgence of the coronavirus, central bank data showed Tuesday.

The composite consumer sentiment index (CCSI) came to 103.9 in December, down 3.7 points from the previous month, according to the data from the Bank of Korea.

This marked the first decline since August when the index fell to 102.5 from the previous month's 103.2.

A reading above 100 means optimists outnumber pessimists.

The decline came amid deepened worries over the resurgence of the coronavirus and the spread of the potentially more transmissible omicron variant.

On Monday, South Korea reported 4,207 new COVID-19 infections and 69 new omicron variant cases.

The government has reimposed restrictions on people's gatherings and curfews on business operations as infections spiked after it eased virus curbs early last month with an aim to return to normalcy under the "living with COVID-19" scheme.

Meanwhile, the subindex for people's assessment of current economic conditions came in at 79 in December, down from 81 in November, while the index gauging people's outlook for future economic conditions also fell from 96 to 88 over the same period, the data showed. (Yonhap)
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