S.Korea dept, discount store sales fall for fourth mth in September

SEOUL, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Sales at South Korea's topdepartment and discount stores fell simultaneously for thefourth consecutive month in September, albeit at a marginalrate, marking the longest slump on record as the euro zonefiscal crisis undercuts consumer sentiment.

Sales at department stores run by the country's top threechain operators fell 0.1 percent in September from a yearearlier, preliminary data released by the Ministry of Strategyand Finance showed on Tuesday, compared with a record 6.9percent decline in August.

Sales at the country's top three discount store chains alsofell 0.1 percent in September from a year earlier, compared witha 3.3 percent decline in August.

"Recovery in domestic consumption and investment sentimentis being delayed by continuing concerns about the slowing globaleconomy," the ministry said.

The ministry also said sales of locally-produced automobilesfell by 3.1 percent in September from a year earlier following a20.2 percent fall in August.

Gasoline sales in volume terms rebounded in September,however, growing 0.7 percent year-on-year after a 2.7 percentdecline in August.

(Reporting By Se Young Lee; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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