Recovery of Seoul Citizens’ Economic Sentiment to the Level Before COVID-19

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The Seoul Institute announced the results of the survey on the actual economic sentiment of Seoul consumers and the economic policies they want from the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) in the second quarter.”

The consumer confidence index,* which indicates Seoul citizens’ economic sentiment, including expectations of livelihood, recorded 92.9 in the second quarter of 2021, which increased by 3.9 points compared to the last quarter, marking over 90 for the first time after the outbreak of COVID-19. The consumer confidence index of Seoul has been below 90 since marking 93.3 in the fourth quarter of 2019, right before the outbreak of COVID-19.
* An indication over 100 means that consumers are optimistic about the economic and expenditure vision, and the contrary if below 100.

It is expected that the consumer confidence index will be gently recovered with the further distribution of vaccination and the central government’s radical policies for stimulating consumption and boosting domestic demand in the second half of the year. Still, there is high uncertainty as there are concerns about the rise of consumer prices and interest rates following the economic recovery as well as risk factors including the spread of COVID-19 viral mutations.

According to a survey targeting 1,200 households (1,200 individuals) in Seoul, 13.8% responded that they are “satisfied” with their social and economic status while 41.3% responded they are “dissatisfied.” In particular, 34.2% responded that their social and economic status has “fallen” compared to before the outbreak of COVID-19 while only 6.3% responded that it has “risen.”

Amongst such circumstances, the most urgent economic policy that citizens want from the mayor of Seoul was “stable cost of living” at 38.5%, and important economic policies they chose were “COVID-19 disease control and prevention” (4.38 points) and “stable real estate market” (4.33 points).

23.3% of Seoul citizens answered that they expect the public economy to improve during the term of the new mayor of Seoul, and that “stable cost of living” (39.1%) is the most important task for the vitalization of the city’s public economy.