Business survey index ticks up for January

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Business survey index ticks up for January

Korean manufacturers’ assessment of business conditions for January edged up from December to ring in the new year on a positive note, a monthly central bank survey showed yesterday.

The Bank of Korea’s manufacturing business survey index for January inched up to a seasonally adjusted 84 from 82 for December, the central bank’s survey showed.

Although it fell short of November’s index reading of 86, which was the highest since January 2012, it was higher than the average index reading of about 77 seen for the past year.

A reading below 100 indicates the number of companies expecting deterioration in business conditions for the coming month outnumber those predicting improvement.

The index has remained below 100 since February 2011, but the outlook has risen steadily this year, starting from a reading of 73 in January, reflecting improving business sentiment as the local economy recovers along with the global economy.

Companies surveyed pointed to weak domestic demand and economic uncertainties as their biggest hurdles for future business, unchanged from the previous survey results.

A separate survey asking companies for their business outlook for the whole of 2014 jumped to a reading of 88 from 78 for 2013 as companies felt better about sales prospects in the new year.

The annual survey has been conducted from 2007 and the central bank does not officially give out previous statistics.

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