South Korea's department store sales in April rose at their fastest pace in three months, final government data showed on Monday, as warmer weather and more holidays in the month pried open consumers' wallets.
Combined sales at department stores run by Hyundai Department Store, Lotte Shopping and Shinsegae Co. rose 4.3 percent in April from a year earlier, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.
This accelerated from a 0.3 percent growth in March and was the best performance since a 9.0 percent jump in January.
An extra public holiday in mid-April thanks to the parliamentary election helped boost sales, which were also underpinned by warmer-than-usual weather, the trade ministry said.
Sales of well-known foreign brands rose the most among department store goods, surging 8.6 percent year on year in April as the average daily high temperature last month reached 20.3 degrees Celsius (68.5 degrees Fahrenheit), up from 18.8 degrees last April.
The same data showed discount store sales rose 1.7 percent in April from a year earlier, rebounding from a 4.6 percent decline in March.
Sales were also helped by the additional holiday and warmer weather as apparel saw the most demand out of discount store goods, the trade ministry data said.
Preliminary data from the finance ministry had shown April department store sales would rise 8.0 percent year on year and discount store sales up by 0.2 percent.