South Korea Consumer Confidence Stays at Highest Since May

South Korean consumer confidence remained at its highest level since May as gains in the won drove down the prices of imported goods.

The sentiment index was unchanged at 102 for February from January, the Bank of Korea said in an e-mailed statement today. A reading above 100 indicates optimists outnumber pessimists.

Consumer confidence remained high even as South Korea’s economy grew at the slowest pace in three years last quarter. The won strengthened more than 3 percent against the dollar over the past year, boosting purchasing power by making imports cheaper, Sun Yoo, a Seoul-based analyst at Woori Investment & Securities, said before the release.

The consumer confidence index is based on responses from 2,011 households across the nation. The survey was conducted by post and e-mail from Feb. 12 to Feb. 19.

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