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Korean retail sales slump further

Fresh data from Korea’s finance ministry shows retail sales fell for the third month in a row in November.

The ministry measures sales in the nation’s leading discount stores and department stores to create a trend recording. It shows combined sales fell 5.6 per cent year on year at Hyundai, Lotte and Shinsegae stores.

Sales fell 6.3 per cent in September and by a more modest 2.2 per cent in October.

In the discount sector, sales fell 3.9 per cent, following declines of 10.1 per cent in September and 0.9 per cent in October, suggesting consumers are trading down and belt tightening.

More comprehensive data for the Korea will be released by the ministry later this month.

From an economic perspective, the only bright spark was that sales of motor vehicles built onshore rose seven per cent year on year – the third consecutive monthly increase.

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