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Retail sales in 15 provinces, cities increase in third quarter

By on November 11, 2021 0

SEOUL, Nov. 11 (Yonhap) – Retail sales in South Korea’s 15 provinces and major cities increased in the third quarter as people increased their outdoor activities as part of the vaccine rollout and the economic recovery, according to data released on Thursday.

Retail sales, an indicator of private spending, increased in nine provinces and six cities in the third quarter, except for the southeastern city of Ulsan, according to Statistics Korea data.

“The vaccine rollout has helped improve consumer sentiment, and the government’s provision of emergency cash distributions has also boosted retail sales,” the statistics agency said.

The resurgence of COVID-19 cases has sapped domestic demand, but it does not appear severe enough to derail economic growth.

Seoul, home to about one-fifth of the country’s 52 million people, saw a 5.7% year-on-year increase in retail sales, and those of Busan’s second-largest city increased by 5.9 %, according to the data.

The combined output of services increased in all 16 provinces and major cities for the second consecutive quarter of the July-September period.

Production of services grew 3.9% year-on-year in the third quarter, compared to a gain of 5.7% in the second quarter.

Of the 16 provinces and cities, Incheon, west of Seoul, recorded the fastest year-on-year service output growth with a 4.7 percent year-on-year gain.

The service sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but deep collapses in in-person service segments, including accommodation and retailers, have eased amid the economic recovery.