SEOUL, April 25 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's consumer confidence rose for three straight months in April due to recovery in the real economy and stable consumer prices, the central bank said Wednesday.
The consumer sentiment index (CSI), which gauges consumers' overall economic outlook, stood at 104 in April, up 3 points from a month earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The April figure posted the third straight month of gain.
The CSI is based on survey response from 2,052 households in 56 cities conducted between April 12 and 18. The reading above 100 means optimists outnumbered pessimists.
The April advance was mainly attributed to improved economic conditions as well as stable consumer prices which fell below the 3 percent level for the first time in 19 months in March."Improved consumer confidence came after our real economy such as production and consumption was enhanced. Consumer prices that slipped into the 2 percent range also contributed to the sentiment enhancement, "said an official at the BOK.
The official, however, noted that it remained to be seen whether the consumer confidence will continue to advance as there were still uncertainties such as Europe's debt crisis and higher oil prices, saying that the future economic indicators from aboard should be closely watched.
South Korean consumers'expectation for inflation fell slightly, but stayed at a high level. Inflation expectation over the next 12 months came in at an annual rate of 3.8 percent in April, down 0.1 percentage point from the previous month.
All sub-indices showed a rosy picture. Consumer sentiment on living standards climbed 3 points on-month to 87 in April, and with that on prospective living conditions rising 3 points to 97.
In April, consumer sentiment on current economic conditions jumped 7 points to 77 over the cited period, with that on future economic conditions surging 8 points to 90. Consumer sentiment on prospective income added 2 points to 99, and that on prospective spending advanced 2 points to 110.