Monday, December 24, 2007

South Korean Q4 2007 Consumer Confidence

South Korea's consumer confidence declined from a five-year high, signaling spending may slow and crimp growth in Asia's fourth-largest economy. The sentiment index fell to 106 in the fourth quarter, the lowest in three quarters, from 112, the Bank of Korea said today in a report in Seoul. A reading higher than 100 indicates optimists outnumber pessimists.

The benchmark Kospi index of stocks has fallen 8 percent from a Nov. 1 record of 2085.45 on concern U.S. subprime-related losses will slow the global economy. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. this month cut its 2008 growth forecast for South Korea to 4.6 percent from 4.7 percent.

The yield on a five-year government bond rose 2 basis points to 5.87 percent at 3:00 p.m. in Seoul and the won gained 0.1 percent to 939.65 versus the dollar. The Kospi climbed 2.2 percent.

Confidence fell as ``sentiment on living conditions and the local economy weakened,'' the central bank said. ``The number of consumers with a negative view on the economy rose sharply.''

South Koreans' debt-servicing costs have climbed steadily as the central bank has pushed borrowing costs to a six-year high. The Bank of Korea raised rates in July and August to curb household debt that topped 600 trillion won ($640 billion) for the first time in September.

No comments: