August 30, 2017 / 1:59 AM / a year ago

S.Korea discount store sales rise for 5th month in July

SEOUL, Aug 30 (Reuters) - South Korea’s discount store sales rose for a fifth straight month in July in a sign private consumption is picking up thanks to an uptick in consumer sentiment, trade ministry data showed on Wednesday.

Combined July sales at discount stores run by Lotte Shopping , E-mart and Homeplus rose 1.7 percent from a year earlier, after gaining 2.3 percent in June, data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy showed.

Demand for fresh food items including fruits jumped 4.8 percent on-year, while that for home appliances increased 3.7 percent.

A bounce in consumer spending came as the nation’s consumer sentiment reached a 6-1/2-year high for the month.

Private consumption growth more than doubled in the second quarter to 0.9 percent from 0.4 percent in the first, supporting Asia’s fourth largest economy in that period when growth almost halved from January-March. (Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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