Korean builder sentiment inches up in February

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Korean builder sentiment inches up in February

Korean builders' business sentiment edged up in February from a month earlier on the back of increasing orders, a poll showed Wednesday.
The country's construction business survey index (CBSI) came to 86.9 last month, up 12.3 points from the previous month, according to the survey by the Construction and Economy Research Institute of Korea.
Yet February's tally was still below par. A reading below 100 indicates that builders who are pessimistic about the industry's current state outnumber those with optimistic views.
It also marked a sharp turnaround from January's tumble. The reading touched the lowest mark in 17 months on seasonal factors and the implementation of a new law on fatal accidents in January, representing the first on-month decline in three months.
In January, the Serious Accidents Punishment Act went into effect in South Korea, putting companies on edge with its implications.
Under the new law, owners and CEOs of companies with five or more employees can face a minimum one-year prison sentence or up to a fine of 1 billion won ($833,000) in the event of serious workplace disasters.
The survey also showed the CBSI outlook for March coming to 112.5, up 25.6 points from February on rising new construction orders.
But the institute said it remains to be seen whether market conditions will actually take a turn for the better this month due to growing uncertainty stemming from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
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