Business confidence dips for third quarter
The business survey index (BSI) for the July-September quarter came to 88, a drop of 11 points from the estimate for the current quarter, the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) said.
The BSI forecast for the April-June period reached 99, up from 77 predicted for the first quarter of this year.
The online survey checked 2,500 businesses across the country. A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists, while a reading above the break-even baseline meaning the opposite.
“Gloomy indications about the global economy that can affect the country’s exports weighed down the index,” the KCCI said. It pointed out that all the major economies are experiencing problems that make it hard for a country like Korea, which relies heavily on trade for growth, to find new growth opportunities.
It said forecasts of slower overseas growth caused the indices for conglomerates and the country’s exporters to fall 25 points and 15 points, respectively, for the third quarter.
Korean conglomerates are at the forefront of exports.
The drops are much steeper than those for small and medium-sized enterprises and domestic businesses that each fell 9 points and 10 points.
The country’s largest business organization with 135,000 members, in addition, said soaring household and government restrictions were hurting business sentiment.
It said possible policy shifts are a source of uncertainty as the country prepares to pick its next president in December.
The KCCI said local businesses must do more to capitalize on benefits from free trade agreements and seek inroads into new emerging markets that are less affected by the current downturn.