March 26, 2018 / 9:10 PM / a year ago

South Korea March consumer sentiment index hits five-month low

FILE PHOTO - People shop at a market in Seoul April 24, 2009. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s consumer sentiment index in March slipped for a fourth consecutive month to its lowest in five months, a central bank survey showed on Tuesday, as households’ perception of current economic conditions worsened.

The Bank of Korea’s composite consumer sentiment index (CCSI) declined to 108.1 for March from 108.2 in February. The index was the weakest since October’s 108.9.

However, Tuesday’s reading was well above 100, suggesting that there were still more optimists than pessimists regarding economic conditions in the coming months.

A sub-index on households’ perception of current South Korean economy dropped to 87 index points a month from 89 in February, while the sub-index for future prospects inched down 1 point from February’s 98, according to the BOK’s survey.

The survey respondents became less pessimistic about future job search, but the sub-index still stood at 94, below the 100 index points.

The survey also found the median expectation for the inflation rate over the next 12 months was 2.6 percent in March, holding steady since January.

Reporting by Dahee Kim, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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