Korea: Businesses confidence rises to 21-month high in March
February 28, 2014
The Bank of Korea's (BoK) forward-looking Business Survey Index (BSI) on business conditions in the manufacturing sector rose from 81 points in February to 85 points in March. The reading represents the third consecutive month of improvement in business sentiment and the highest level since June 2012. Despite the increase, the indicator remains below the 100-point threshold that separates pessimistic from optimistic territory.
March's survey showed improving business prospects for both locally-oriented companies and export-oriented firms. Meanwhile, firms' prospects for future sales improved in March, which meant that earnings were better than expected compared to the previous month. According to the BSI's current business situation index, business confidence in the manufacturing sector rose from 76 points in January to 78 points in February.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect fixed investment to expand 3.0% in 2014, which is up 0.4 percentage points from last month's forecast. In 2015, the panel expects fixed investment growth to accelerate to 3.7%.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist