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South Koreans Spent Less On Cosmetics And Clothes In 2016

By February 22, 2017 at 4:52 am
Despite the overall rise in total spending for individual cardholders in 2016, spending on cosmetics, jewelry and apparel and textile fell. (Photo : Getty Images)

South Koreans' spending on cosmetics and apparel items using their cards fell in 2016, according to the Bank of Korea data released Wednesday, as the sluggish economy is slowing down consumer spending.

For the 12-month period from January to December, the amount of credit card spending in the country stood at 675.7 trillion won, an increase of 10.02 percent on-year, the central bank said.

Despite the overall increase, credit card spending on cosmetics items fell to 3.38 trillion won or 3 percent from the year earlier, the first drop since the BOK started monitoring the data in 2004.

Meanwhile, spending on apparel and textile declined to 8.41 trillion won or down by 2.32 percent on-year. Spending in the jewelry sector also slid to 547.4 billion won or 3.19 percent from the previous year, the BOK data showed.

The slowdown came as the slowing economy is forcing South Koreans to tighten their belts. As their income increased considerably, many households paid for their children's education fees and mortgage repayment.

Last year, people's spending on entertainment and luxury fell 11.31 percent from the previous year to 2.83 trillion won, the central bank data showed. Spending on karaoke fell to 1.50 trillion won or down by 3.91 percent on-year, the BOK said.

Outstanding household credit in South Korea advanced to 1,344.3 trillion won in the fourth quarter last year, a gain of 11.7 percent from 1,203.1 trillion won in the year-earlier period, according to preliminary data from the BOK released earlier this week.

Household credit, comprised of credit card spending and household loans, climbed 3.7 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous three months, the data showed.

For the entire 2016, total spending for individual cardholders reached 503.5 trillion won, a gain of 7.73 percent from the previous year, while spending by companies using their business credit cards rose to 172.2 trillion won, an increase of 17.27 percent from a year earlier, according to the data. 

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