SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s private consumption grew at the fastest rate in seven years in 2018, data showed Sunday.
According to the Bank of Korea, South Korea’s private consumption grew 2.8 percent in 2018, marking the highest figure since the 2.9 percent posted in 2011.
The country’s growth in terms of private consumption earlier remained in the 1 percent level from 2012 to 2014. It reached 2.2 percent in 2015 and posted a gradual recovery to 2.6 percent in 2017.
The data showed the private consumption’s growth also moved above the overall economic growth for the first time in 13 years in 2018. The South Korean economy grew 2.7 percent on-year in 2018.
In 2005, the private consumption grew 4.4 percent, compared with the economic growth of 3.9 percent.
South Korea’s middle-class households purchased more home appliances, including air purifiers, amid the rising concerns over fine dust striking the country. In the first half, sales of imported cars also increased as local chains sought to offload inventories.
Industry watchers said the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, which ran in February supported consumption as well.
The country’s implementation of a new labor policy that limits the maximum working hours to 52 also induced people to spend more on leisure services.
The government’s move to increase the minimum wage also apparently helped private consumption, industry watchers added.
As for 2019, the central bank expects the private consumption to rise 2.6 percent on-year, which is equal to the outlook for the economy.