Manufacturers’ confidence ebbs to three-year low

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Manufacturers’ confidence ebbs to three-year low

Korean manufacturers’ confidence fell to the lowest level in more than three years as gains in the won threaten to slow a rebound in exports and the country prepares to vote for a new president next month.

An index measuring expectations for December fell to 67 from 70 for November, the lowest since April 2009, the Bank of Korea said in a statement yesterday. A reading below 100 indicates that pessimists outnumber optimists.

Asia’s fourth-largest economy has shown improvement before the Dec. 19 election, with overseas sales rising for the first time in four months in October. At the same time, the won is the best-performing Asian currency in the second half of the year, weighing on sentiment in a country where exports make up about half of the economy.

A measure of expectations at nonmanufacturing companies dropped to 65 from 67 in November, today’s report showed. Bloomberg
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