Retail in Asia

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Korean department-store sales climbed in January for 11th month

Sales at South Korea’s major department stores rose in January for an 11th month as the nation’s economic recovery strengthened.

Spending at the three biggest chains climbed 4.8 percent from a year earlier, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in an emailed statement today. That compared with a 12.5 percent gain in December.

South Korea’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record-low 2 percent on 11 February to spur growth and employment. President Lee Myung Bak has said the economy may expand more than 5 percent in 2010, which would be the most in three years.