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[SEOUL] South Korean manufacturers' assessment of business conditions for November edged down amid persistent uncertainties over the country's unsteady economic recovery, a central bank survey showed on Thursday.
The Bank of Korea's manufacturing business survey index for November slipped to a seasonally adjusted 76, compared with 78 for October. This was a shade higher than a reading of 75 for September.
The outlook among small-to-medium sized businesses fell the most among the respondents, the data showed.
A reading below 100 indicates that the number of companies expecting a deterioration in business conditions for the coming month is larger than those predicting improvement, but the index tends to stay low even in financially better times.
The index has remained below 100 since February 2011.
Manufacturers who were surveyed pointed to weak domestic consumption as the biggest reason for their pessimism, the central bank said, unchanged from the previous month.
The latest survey comes just ahead of industrial output data for September from the government. The median forecast from a Reuters survey was a 1.9 percent rise in factory output on a seasonally adjusted basis in sequential terms.
The Bank of Korea said it surveyed more than 1,500 manufacturers nationwide in 23 major industries from Oct 16 to 23.