South Korea April business sentiment outlook ticks up, still gloomy

[SEOUL] South Korean manufacturers'business outlook for April ticked up from March when it hit the lowest since the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, a central bank survey found on Thursday.

The Bank of Korea said its manufacturing business survey index for April edged up to a seasonally adjusted 66 from 65 for March. The index had fallen for four months prior to March.

A reading below 100 indicates that the number of companies expecting deterioration in business conditions for the coming month outnumber those seeing improvement, but the index tends to stay low even in better times.

The index was last above the neutral line of 100 in September 2010.

Manufacturers pointed to sluggish domestic consumption as their biggest problem, followed by economic uncertainties and heightened competition.

The central bank said it surveyed more than 1,700 manufacturers nationwide from March 17 to 24.


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