June 29, 2022


The South Korean government reported the country’s businesses, including those in the manufacturing and service industries recorded their retail sales to decline sharply in November even with brisk industrial output.

According to Statistics Korea, the country’s retail sales index in the reporting month recorded a decline of 119.1, down 1.9 percent from 121.4 a month earlier. The key index is a barometer for consumption by the household sector and is calculated under the assumption that the index was 100 in 2015.

The recent drop of the index amount in November is relatively posing worries over possible inventories, given a gradual recovery in the consumption index with a positive growth seen in September with 2.4 percent and 0.1 percent in October.

Retail sales index data

• In the reporting month, retail sales fell in home appliances, mobile-computer devices, clothing, sports goods, automobile fuel and food and beverage.
• Large discount chains in November recorded a noteworthy decline of 10.4 percent. Among both department stores and convenience stores, the index fell in both by 1.5 percent.
• Duty-free shops showed a positive growth of 13.3 percent, although the index was broadly calculated before the omicron variant hit the country.
• However, in contrast, the index for the industrial output rose by 3.2 percent on-month to 114.4.
• In the reporting month, manufacturers posted a 5.3 percent growth in production; this also includes 11.3 percent in automobiles and 4.5 percent in semiconductors.
• Among services industries, the growth was recorded at 2 percent.
• In lodging and food services the index saw growth at 5.6 percent, financial insurance products at 3 percent and art/sports/leisure products rose at 8.3 percent.
According to a Statistics Korea official, the decline in November retail sales index can be attributed to a base effect following the high positive growth in October.

However, Finance Minister Hong cautioned that the uncertainty in the wake of state quarantine measures still continues.

The Finance ministry has predicted that an interest amid the uncertainty over consumption is whether the growth of gross domestic product will reach 4 percent this year.

The country’s optimistic outlook is currently being based on its brisk exports throughout this year, while the all-time high outstanding household debt is expected to restrict a fast rebound in consumption.