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No. of self-employed retailers drops amid weak consumption

2017/07/17 11:27

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SEOUL, July 17 (Yonhap) -- The number of people who run small businesses without any employees in the retail sector declined this year, data showed Monday, amid a prolonged slump due to lukewarm private consumption in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

According to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK), the number of small business owners without employees in the sector dropped by some 10,000 in the January-May period compared with the same period last year.

The total number of self-employed small business owners without employees in the country, meanwhile, increased by 419,000 on-year during the cited period, the data showed. Small business owners with employees also increased by 665,000 on-year in the January-May period.

Experts say snowballing household debt has been a major drag on private consumption, leading many self-employed businessmen in the industry to go out of business.

South Korea's household debt, including credit purchases, hit a record 1,359.7 trillion won (US$1.2 trillion) at the end of March.

In this file photo taken on March 2, 2017, banners hung at a clothes shop in Seoul's Namdaemun Market advertise a 50 percent sale. (Yonhap) In this file photo taken on March 2, 2017, banners hung at a clothes shop in Seoul's Namdaemun Market advertise a 50 percent sale. (Yonhap)

scaaet@yna.co.kr

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