South Korea's credit card spending jumped nearly 14 percent in March from a year ago on higher oil prices and a rise in the number of outbound travelers, data showed Wednesday.
Credit card purchases totaled 66.4 trillion won (US$59.5 billion) in March, up 13.7 percent from the same month a year earlier, according to the data from the Credit Finance Association.
The surge was attributed largely to increased consumer prices, including oil costs, and higher demand for South Koreans' overseas trips.
"Consumer prices rose sharply compared with a year earlier," the association said. "Gasoline and diesel prices also went up, and more South Koreans traveled abroad."
South Korea's consumer prices climbed 2.2 percent on-year in March, compared with a 0.8 percent on-year increase a year earlier.
Gasoline and diesel prices at local petrol stations rose 11.6 percent and 17.6 percent in March from a year ago, respectively, with air passenger traffic expanding 8.9 percent to 8.51 million.
Driven by high demand for overseas travel, purchases made with credit cards for flights, trains, express buses and ferries jumped 16.7 percent in March from a year ago.
By type, individual credit card spending grew 12.2 percent on-year to 49.8 trillion won and corporate credit card use shot up 18.5 percent to 16.6 trillion won, the data showed. (Yonhap)
Lee Sung-won firstname.lastname@example.org
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