Retail sales in South Korea jumped during the month of August, following approach of the festive season, especially early purchases of gifts ahead of the Chuseok harvest holiday.
South Korea’s retail sales grew 9.1 percent in August compared to last year, data released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
Although this is a slight drop from July’s 10.8 percent figure, the retail industry has consistently seen around 9 to 10 percent annual growth each month.
E-commerce operators enjoyed the biggest boost, marking 20 percent growth for the second straight month, while sales at brick-and-mortar establishments including department stores, discount stores and convenience stores only rose an average 4.3 percent, the data showed.
Further, sales of such food products surged 50.6 percent from last year and accounted for 8 percent of all revenue made at convenience stores last month.
Other processed food products, including Chuseok gift sets, which accounted for 45.9 percent of revenue and saw a sales increase of 19 percent.
Meanwhile, the composite consumer sentiment index dropped during the period of September for the first time in three months. The index figure fell 0.1 point from 101.8 in August to 101.7 this month.