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Output by dining, drinking businesses drops sharply in 2017

All News 09:20 January 03, 2018

SEOUL, Jan. 3 (Yonhap) -- Output by dining and drinking businesses fell in 2017 by the largest scale since 2000, state statistics showed Wednesday.

Output at restaurants and pubs in the January-November period was down 3.1 percent compared with the same period of the previous year, Statistics Korea said. The scope of the contraction is the largest since the statistical office started compiling data in 2000 and bigger than the 2.4 percent tallied in 2009. That year, the country was heavily affected by the global financial crisis.

The latest data means that the output of the industry will mark the third consecutive year of contraction, following a 1.8 percent drop in 2015 and a 0.8 percent fall in 2016.

The dining and drinking business sector is closely watched as one of the key barometers of domestic demand. Restaurants and pubs are businesses initiated mostly by individuals who do not have much financial resources, and they are also sensitive to an economic recovery.

Data showed that retail sales for the January-November months last year grew 2.7 percent from the same period of the year before. In 2016, retail sales gained 4.5 percent from the previous year.

There were some 473,600 dining and drinking businesses in the country as of 2015.

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