Businesses see light at end of tunnel

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Businesses see light at end of tunnel

Korea’s business sentiment for May rose from a month earlier due to expectations of accelerated global economic growth and improvements in domestic market conditions, a poll showed yesterday.

The monthly business survey index (BSI) for the upcoming month came in at 104.7, up from 98.4 for April, according to the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), a lobbying group for big businesses.

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A BSI reading above the break-even 100 mark means optimists outnumber pessimists. The poll surveyed the country’s 600 largest businesses in terms of sales.

The FKI attributed the rise to the recent announcement by the International Monetary Fund that predicted that the global economy will advance 3.5 percent on-year in 2012, up 0.2 percentage point from an earlier forecast made in January.

Stronger worldwide gains spell good news for a trading nation like Korea that relies heavily on overseas markets for economic growth.

On the local front, the federation said both consumer and producer prices have fallen into the 2 percent range as of March, with improvements being made in employment and industrial production.

“Such upbeat developments have offset persistent euro zone woes, high crude oil prices and a high level of household debt, and buoyed business sector sentiment,” the FKI said in a press release.

By sector, the latest report forecast BSI numbers exceeding 100 for the domestic market, business investments and exports. It expected employment to reach the 100 mark.

Numbers for the manufacturing and service sectors reached 104.7 and 104.6, respectively.

The BSI readings for overall financial conditions stood at 98.2.

Yonhap

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