Consumers shun buying cosmetics, clothes: data
SEOUL, Feb. 22 (Yonhap) -- Credit card spending on cosmetics and apparel items shrank last year, central bank data showed Wednesday, as consumers refrained from buying such products amid a sluggish economy.
The amount of credit card spending in South Korea reached 675.7 trillion won (US$590.1 billion) at the end of December, up 10.02 percent from a year earlier, according to the Bank of Korea.
Of the figure, the payment for cosmetics items dropped 3 percent on-year to 3.38 trillion won, the first decline since the central bank began to track the related data in 2004.
Spending in the apparel and textile category shed 2.32 percent to 8.41 trillion won, with that of jewelry also slipping 3.19 percent to 547.4 billion won over the cited period, the BOK data showed.
The decline came as South Koreans tightened their belts against a slowing economy, in which many households shoulder mortgage repayment and education fees for their children, while they see a considerable gain in income.
The BOK data showed that people also spent a lot less last year on entertainment and luxury, which shrank 11.31 percent on-year to 2.83 trillion won. Spending on karaoke dropped 3.91 percent to 1.50 trillion won, the BOK said.
Individual card holders spent a total of 503.5 trillion won as of end-December, up 7.73 percent on-year, while companies spent 172.2 trillion won on business credit cards, up 17.27 percent from a year ago, according to the data.