Industry index slips after a show of strength

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Industry index slips after a show of strength

An index measuring the Korean manufacturers’ assessment of business conditions for December fell from a 22-month high in November, central bank data showed yesterday, underlining the uneven nature of the economy’s recovery.

The Bank of Korea’s manufacturing business survey index for December fell to a seasonally adjusted 82 from 86 in November, the central bank’s survey results showed. The November reading was the highest since January 2012.

A reading below 100 indicates that the number of companies expecting a deterioration in business conditions for the coming month outnumbers those predicting improvement. The index has remained below 100 since February 2011.

The latest reading is still higher than an average of about 77 in the index for the past 12 months, indicating the manufacturing companies’ sentiment was still improving as Asia’s fourth-largest economy pulls out of a slump.

The trade-reliant economy expanded by a seasonally adjusted 1.1 percent in each of the past two quarters on a sequential basis, the fastest in two years, on growing signs that the worst may be over.

The top two concerns cited by survey respondents were the still depressed domestic demand and uncertain global economic prospects, similar to the preceding monthly survey, the central bank said in a statement.

The Bank of Korea said it surveyed 1,470 manufacturers from 23 major industries across the country from Nov. 13-20.


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