Korea: Businesses even more confident in February
January 28, 2014
The Bank of Korea's (BoK) forward-looking Business Survey Index (BSI) on business conditions in the manufacturing sector rose from 79 points in January to 81 points in February. The reading represents the second consecutive month of improvement in business sentiment. Despite February's increase, the indicator remains well below the 100-point threshold separating pessimistic from optimistic territory.
The monthly increase mainly reflects improving business prospects for locally-oriented companies, while confidence in export-oriented firms waned somewhat compared to the previous month. Meanwhile, firms' prospects for future sales improved notably in February, 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 stabilized in January at December's 76 points.
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 to accelerate to 3.7%.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist