Korea Inc. is gloomy about fewer work days in May

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Korea Inc. is gloomy about fewer work days in May

Korean companies’ business environment outlook for next month is sour due to fewer work days and concerns about protectionism by major trading partners, a local think tank said Friday.

The business survey index for May fell to 91.7, down from 102.3 a year ago and 93.3 a month earlier, according to the Korea Economic Research Institute, the think tank of the Federation of Korean Industries, a private business organization.

A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists, while a reading above the benchmark means the opposite.

“The outcome was mainly due to fewer work days, political uncertainties related to the presidential election on May 9 and growing worries about protectionism in the U.S. and China,” the institute said in a statement.

The index remained below the 100 benchmark since May 2016 when it reached 102.3, although the reading for May 2017 was the highest in five months.

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