[SEOUL] An index measuring South Korean manufacturers' confidence about the coming month ticked down for January compared with the previous month, a central bank survey showed on Wednesday, as uncertainties continue to cloud business prospects for 2016.
The Bank of Korea said in a statement that its manufacturing business survey index on the prospects for January slipped to a seasonally adjusted 71 from a reading of 72 for December.
This was the lowest level since October this year.
A reading below 100 means there are more companies that expect a deterioration in business conditions in the coming month than there are companies predicting an improvement. The index has remained below 100 for more than five years.
The central bank also surveyed respondents on their outlook for the following year. The business sentiment index for 2016 stood at 78, two points higher than this year's assessment of business conditions but remaining in pessimistic territory.
The Bank of Korea said it surveyed more than 1,800 manufacturing companies nationwide.