SEOUL, Korea, Mar 29, 2014 (Korea Bizwire) – Last year, household consumption spending has increased 1.2 percent, year on year, which seemed rather slow. The fluctuation was seen here and there depending on the areas of expenditure.
On March 28, the Bank of Korea said, the sales of furniture and home appliances such as air-conditioners had perked up by 4.3 percent last year due to the exceptionally sweltering summer in 2013. Back in 2012, the amount spent by households fell 2.5 percent but the hot weather really did air-conditioner makers a big favor in the next year.
Clothing and shoes consumption which had been dull in 2012 with a 1.0-percent decline, went up 3.2 percent in 2013, swimming with the tide of emerging “outdoor activity craze” in Korea. As an aging society kicking in and tooth scaling costs rising, the health care and medical service expenses have been constantly increasing: 8.3 percent growth in 2009, 6.3 percent in 2010, 5.8 percent in 2011, 6.3 percent in 2012, and 5.5 percent in 2013.
The areas of spending which faced major setbacks in 2013 were telecommunications and education.
Telecom expenses had increased rapidly by 6.5 percent in 2011 but dropped 1.6 percent in 2012. Last year, it recorded a negative growth of 4.3 percent. A Bank of Korea official said, “The domestic smartphone market has reached a saturation point. There hasn’t been much innovation since the first appearance of iPhones and the number of fixed-line telephone users is falling.” All of these are combined to slow down the whole telecommunications market.
Education expenses have been consistently decreasing since 2010. The Bank of Korea has looked at both private and public tuition costs, and has come to a conclusion that the number of students is in decline due to a low birth rate and the size of college scholarship expanded to cause such a huge decline.
Written by Robing Koo (email@example.com)