Index shows gloomy outlook persists among manufacturers

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Index shows gloomy outlook persists among manufacturers

Korean manufacturers’ business confidence for November dipped to a three-month low as the growth outlook remains bleak amid the global economic downturn, the central bank said yesterday.

The index of manufacturers’ outlook on business conditions came in at 70 for November, down from 72 tallied for October, according to a monthly survey by the Bank of Korea (BOK). The index measures manufacturers’ expectations for the coming month.

The November index marked the lowest reading since the index for August hit an identical 70, it added.

A reading below the benchmark 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists. The index is based on a nationwide survey of 2,522 companies conducted from Oct. 15-22.

The index of manufacturers’ assessment of current business conditions came in at 68 in October, down from 69 recorded for September, the BOK added.

The data came as the euro zone debt crisis and China’s slowing growth are casting clouds over Korea’s export-dependent economy.

The Korean economy grew a mere 0.2 percent on-quarter in the third quarter, the slowest in nearly three years. The BOK also cut the key rate and its growth forecast for 2012 and 2013 last week due to growing downside risk.

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