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Retailers' Q4 biz sentiment remains strong despite slight fall


By Nam Kwang-sik

SEOUL, Oct. 3 (Yonhap)-- South Korean retailers predicted that their business conditions will be bullish in the fourth quarter of the year thanks to hopes that restoring consumer sentiment may lead to year-end shopping sprees, a poll showed Wednesday.

According to the survey of 943 retailers by the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the retail business survey index fell to 101, down four points from 105 for the third quarter, remaining above the benchmark level.

The index rose above the benchmark level in the third quarter from 98 for the second quarter.

A reading above 100 means that optimists over the next quarter's business conditions outnumber pessimists.

"The retailers' business sentiment remains still strong, though the index gauging the sentiment fell slightly," the KCCI said.

"The bullish business sentiment stemmed from expectations that the consumer sentiment that was improved during the Chuseok holiday may lead to year-end shopping sprees," it said.

South Koreans enjoyed five consecutive days off during the traditional Korean Thanksgiving holiday, which fell on Sept. 19 this year.

Business conditions of online shopping malls, department stores and home shopping are expected to fare better in the fourth quarter, while those of convenience stores and discounters are predicted to be somewhat downbeat.

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