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South Korea Consumer Sentiment Climbs for Fifth Month

SEOUL, July 26 (Reuters) - South Korean consumers' sentiment improved for a fifth consecutive month to a 15-month high in July, with their inflation expectations resuming a decline, a central bank survey showed on Wednesday.

The consumer sentiment index rose to 103.2 in July, from 100.7 in June, and was the highest reading since April 2022, the Bank of Korea's monthly survey of consumers showed.

The biggest driver, according to the sub-indexes, was an improvement in consumers' outlook for the economy, followed by improvements in their assessment of current economic conditions as well as current living conditions.

The median inflation expectation for the next 12 months fell to 3.3%, the lowest since May 2022, after staying flat at 3.5% in the previous month, which followed three straight months of decline.

The survey, conducted from July 11-18, was likely, but only partially, affected by heavy rains that left upward price pressure on agricultural products, a BOK official said during a media briefing held before the data was released.

Reporting by Jihoon Lee; Editing by Savio D'Souza

Source: Reuters

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