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Finance minister vows to boost consumption as annual shopping festival begins

All News 17:28 November 02, 2020

SEJONG, Nov. 2 (Yonhap) -- Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Monday the government will spare no efforts to boost domestic consumption hit by a resurgence of new coronavirus infections in mid-August, as the nation launched a large-scale shopping festival.

Hong made the remarks as he visited a retail shop earlier in the day, a day after the annual Korea Sale FESTA kicked off Sunday for a 15-day run.

The government has drawn up measures to give financial benefits to buyers during the shopping festival, Hong said.

The government will also set up measures to help small merchants increase their competitiveness as more shoppers opt for online purchases amid the pandemic, Hong said.

A total of 1,733 companies took part in the festival, making this year's edition the largest-ever event. The number is up from last year's 704 participants.

Finance minister vows to boost consumption as annual shopping festival begins - 1

The number of participating consumer goods makers, including makers of cars, apparel, electronics and cosmetics, will be more than double that of last year's event. Participating companies will hold a range of online and offline discount events, as well as offer freebies and giveaways.

South Korea's economy grew 1.9 percent in the third quarter, marking the first quarterly expansion since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Although the pandemic-caused trade slump eased as advanced nations lifted lockdown measures, domestic spending was still weak because of the resurgence of the new coronavirus in mid-August.

South Korea's consumer spending has remained in the doldrums. The composite consumer sentiment index (CCSI) came to 79.4 for September, down 8.8 points from 88.2 in August and marking the largest on-month fall since March. A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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