South Korea's strong response to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as providing emergency disaster relief funds, led consumption in May to recover to levels seen before the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to data released by Statistics Korea on Tuesday, retail sales jumped 4.6 percent on-month in May.
"Retail sales in May have gone up by 4.6 percent on-month and by 1.7 percent on-year. The figure saw an on-month rise for the second consecutive month, mainly due to the slowing down of the COVID-19 outbreak and rise in consumer spending, thanks to payouts of the emergency disaster relief funds, and recovering domestic car sales."
But the same data also showed that South Korea's industrial output continued its downward trend, falling 1.2 percent on-month in May.
Facility investment was down 5.9 percent on-month.
But South Korea's business sentiment has improved in June, thanks to government policies and a slight recovery in exports.
Data from the Bank of Korea showed on Tuesday that the Business Sentiment Index for all industries in June was up 3 points on-month to 56.
By sector, the BSI among manufacturers was up 2 points to 51, and for non-manufacturers it was up 4 points to 60.
The BSI of export companies soared 6 points the steepest rise since September 2017.
The Economic Sentiment Index which measures the economic outlook for both companies and households was up 5.3 points on-month to 63.1.
But some experts say it's a bit early to be too optimistic, as the figures still remain far below 100, meaning pessimists outnumber optimists.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.