One out of 10 people will buy no gifts at all for this year's Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving due to the prolonged recession.
Supermarket giant Lotte Mart said Monday that a poll of 1,220 people in late August found that 142, or 11.6 percent, will not buy gifts for one of the country's biggest holiday. The figure is eight percentage points higher than for this year's lunar New Year's Day.
This suggests that the recession has put additional pressure on household finances. The average household spending on Chuseok gifts this year is estimated at W196,000, down W15,000 from last year's W211,000 (US$1=W1,099).
There is a stark difference between the gifts people want and the gifts they are giving. Fruit is at the top of the list of presents to buy with 20.1 percent, followed by health food with 16.2 percent.
But what the recipients really want is gift vouchers with 48.8 percent.
Choi Choon-seok of Lotte Mart said, "We expect a noticeable trend toward inexpensive and practical presents."