SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's private consumption is expected to maintain modest growth going forward despite sluggish consumer sentiment, a central bank report said Thursday.
According to the biannual report by the Bank of Korea (BOK) submitted to the National Assembly, the composite consumer sentiment index (CCSI) has been hovering below 100 since August last year.
A reading below the long-term average of 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists, casting concerns that a growing number of people are tightening their belt.
But the BOK report said the actual private consumption has shown weaker correlation with consumer sentiment in recent years. It noted that the volatility of the business cycle and consumption decreased to some extent as South Korea has moved to an advanced economy.
Since August 2018, private consumption has steadily risen 2 percent, while pessimist sentiment prevailed in the country amid clear signs of an economic slowdown.
"There are low possibilities that private consumption will decrease sharply in the short term, given the fact that the CCSI has moved more widely than actual statistics since 2017," the BOK report said. "But private consumption may be affected by poor consumer sentiment prolonged by sluggish employment and a slowing economy."