Credit card spending up 15.9% in April
Korea's credit card spending jumped 15.9 percent in April from a year earlier due to modest improvements in domestic economic conditions, a credit association said Thursday.
Purchases made with credit cards totaled 42.9 trillion won ($36.7 billion) last month, up 6.6 trillion won from a year earlier, according to the Credit Finance Association (CREFIA).
Compared with the previous month, however, products bought with plastic, which include credit, debit and prepaid cards, dipped 0.09 percent.
The solid on-year gain came as the country's consumer prices grew 2.5 percent on-year in April. This is the lowest level reached in 21 months and helped stabilize prices that bolstered spending.
Other factors that contributed to more credit card use are the improvements in the country's job market and general rise in consumer sentiment assisted by signs of economic recovery, the association said.
CREFIA, however, said while local credit card spending is likely to rise for the near future, high fuel prices and mounting eurozone uncertainties could affect products bought on credit down the line.
It added that moves by many card companies to cut back on benefits may affect sales. (Yonhap)