Most manufacturers downbeat on Q1 biz conditions
SEOUL, Jan. 5 (Yonhap) -- More South Korean manufacturers are pessimistic about their business conditions in January-March than the past quarter, due to the planned U.S. monetary stimulus cuts and local currency's volatility, a poll showed Sunday.
The survey of 426 companies by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade showed the Business Survey Index at 93 for the first quarter of the year, down 8 points from 101 for the October-December period of last year.
The index gauges the manufacturers' forecast of business conditions, and a reading below the benchmark 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists.
The BSI for the whole year remained at 100.
"Most manufacturers have yet to be confident of an economic recovery," a ministry official said. "The manufacturers' sentiment on business conditions (for the first quarter) seems to have been affected by the U.S. plan to scale back its bond-buying program and the appreciation of the South Korean won against the U.S. dollar as well as the weak Japanese yen."
By industry, the chip and textile industries expected to see improvement in their business for the first quarter. Other industries such as electronics, shipbuilding and steel were forecast to suffer a slump in their businesses.
As for the BSI for the year, shipbuilders are predicted to shrug off their sluggish performance and see its business turn for the better.