Credit card spending jumps 7.7 pct on consumer price hikes

South Korea's credit card spending increased 7.7 percent on-year in September, as the prices of agricultural products rose due to an unusual heat wave, data showed Thursday, according to Yonhap News' source.

South Koreans usually spend more before and during the Chuseok holiday, one of the largest annual celebrations. Chuseok, the equivalent of Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., fell on Sept. 15 this year.

This year, especially, a record hot spell drove up the prices of agricultural, livestock and fishery products.

The nation's consumer prices rose 1.2 percent last month from a year earlier, the highest since March. Those of agricultural, livestock and fishery products soared 10.2 percent.

According to the Credit Finance Association's research center, credit card spending totaled 61.03 trillion won (US$53 billion) during the month, up 9.1 percent from a year earlier. The number of credit card payments also rose 13.2 percent to 1.34 billion.

Affected by the price hikes, individual credit card purchases, excluding utility bill payment, rose 7.7 percent to 43.6 trillion won (US38.3 billion).

But corporate card use dropped 3.8 percent to 9.5 trillion won due to less working days.

In the third quarter, meanwhile, South Korea's credit card spending jumped 10.8 percent to 184.3 trillion won from the same period in 2015.

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