Manufacturers’ trade sentiment improves for January amid robust exports

SEOUL, 29 Dec. (Yonhap) – The business climate for South Korean manufacturers improved in January, optimistic that the country’s exports remain strong despite the global pandemic, central bank data showed on Wednesday.

The business climate index (BSI) for local manufacturers stood at 92 for December, down from 88 for this month, according to data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The index measures manufacturers‘ outlook for economic conditions for the following month. A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists.

The surge in manufacturers’ BSI for the next month is due in part to expectations that the country’s strong exports, including those in overseas sales of semiconductors, will continue.

In November, the country’s exports climbed 32.1 percent year-on-year to a record monthly level on strong global demand for crisps and petroleum products, government data showed.

The BSI for large businesses stood at 99 for next month, up from 97 for this month, the data showed.

The BSI of non-manufacturing firms, however, deteriorated, from 83 for December to 78 for January, according to the data.

The drop is attributed to lingering concerns about the global pandemic associated with seasonal factors, such as potentially less activity during the winter season.

The drop is mainly due to the deteriorating outlook for the information and communications and construction sectors, the data showed.

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