Business sentiment gets a boost

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Business sentiment gets a boost

Local manufacturers’ business confidence for September rebounded, but their overall sentiment remained weak amid the euro zone debt crisis, the central bank said yesterday.

The index of manufacturers’ outlook on business conditions came in at 75 for September, up from a 39-month low of 70 recorded for August, according to a monthly survey by the Bank of Korea. The index measures manufacturers’ expectations for the coming month.

The sentiment index rose for September after the outlook index for August posted the sharpest monthly decline since December 2008.

A reading below the benchmark 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists. The index is based on a nationwide survey of 2,434 companies conducted from Aug. 16-23.

“Manufacturers’ business outlook for next month rebounded, but this does not take on significance as their sentiment remained weak, staying below an average of previous multiple months,” said Lee Seong-ho, an official at the BOK.

The index of manufacturers’ assessment of current business conditions came in at 72 in August, up from a 39-month low of 71 tallied in July, the BOK added.

The data came as the euro zone debt crisis and China’s slowing growth blur prospects of the export-dependent Korean economy.

The BOK froze the key rate at 3 percent in August after making a surprise rate cut in July in a bid to shield the economy from fallouts of the euro zone debt turmoil. The bank’s 2012 growth outlook was lowered to 3 percent from 3.5 percent due to growing downside risks.


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