S. Korea's Q1 e-commerce sales growth slowest in over 3 yrs

SEJONG, May 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's e-commerce sales grew at the slowest pace in more than three years during the first quarter, apparently affected by the protracted slump in economic growth, a government report showed Monday.

Online sales totaled about 287.1 trillion won (US$254.7 billion) in the January-March period, up 2.1 percent from the same period a year earlier, according, according to the report by Statistics Korea.

The growth rate was the slowest since the third quarter of 2009 when sales shrank 2.9 percent from a year earlier.

"The protracted economic slump appears to have impacted the overall online sales, in particular those involving businesses in their contracts and transactions deals," an official of the agency told Yonhap.

The report showed that business-to-business (B2B) transactions, which made up more than 90 percent of all cyberspace sales, came to 264.47 trillion won, up 1.7 percent from a year earlier. From the previous quarter, they shrank 1.6 percent.

Business-to-government (B2G) deals rose 3.4 percent on-year to 13.77 trillion won but they also plunged 38.1 percent from three months earlier.

Business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions still jumped 16.1 percent to 5.87 trillion won, while consumer-to-consumer sales grew 5.6 percent to 2.96 trillion won, the report showed.

Meanwhile, cyber shopping sales mostly involving B2C and C2C transactions increased 12.2 percent on-year to 9.06 trillion won during the first quarter of this year, according to the report.

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