RTTNews - South Korea's consumer confidence rose to a seven-year high in August triggered by rising hopes of an economic recovery.

The consumer confidence index climbed to 114 in August from 109 in July, the Bank of Korea said Wednesday. The sentiment indicator rose for the fifth straight month and the reading was the highest since the third quarter of 2002.

The central bank measured consumer sentiment on a quarterly basis until the second quarter of 2008. A reading above 100 indicates that optimists outnumber pessimists. The confidence indicator stood above 100 for the fourth month in August.

The consumer confidence survey was carried out among 2,200 households in 56 major cities during August 12 to 19.

Asia's fourth-largest economy escaped from a technical recession in the first quarter of this year by growing 0.1% following a contraction of 5.1% in the fourth quarter of 2008. In the second quarter, gross domestic product or GDP grew 2.3% sequentially.

The South Korean government predicted in June that its economy may contract 1.5% this year, slower than the 2% shrinkage forecast previously as massive stimulus measures cushion the downturn.

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