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Korean manufacturers’ business sentiments continued to remain bleak for the upcoming month while their actual business conditions in February turned out to be worse than anticipated, a poll showed Monday.
The business survey index (BSI) for manufacturing companies came to 66 for March, unchanged from the previous month when the index dipped to a seven-month low, according to the survey by the Bank of Korea (BOK).
However, the performance BSI for manufacturers, showing actual performance of manufacturing firms, came to 63 in February.
A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists.
The index has remained below the benchmark since 2010, and well below 80 since early 2015. Korea’s exports fell every single month last year.
More manufacturers forecast conditions for their exports to continue deteriorating in March with an index gauging their sentiment toward exports losing a point from the previous month to 81.
A separate index measuring their outlook on domestic sales, on the other hand, gained 3 points on-month to 79 for March.
Still, more manufacturers saw slowing domestic consumption as the most serious problem facing them with 24 percent of those surveyed saying the slump in the local market provided them with the greatest challenge in February.
Another 10.1 percent cited slowing exports as a major problem that faced them this month, up from 9.5 percent in the previous month, according to the BOK.
The BSI for non-manufacturing companies came to 67 for March, down 1 point from the previous month.