Korea: Forward-looking business confidence falls for December
The Bank of Korea’s forward-looking business confidence indicator (BSI) for the manufacturing sector has registered pessimism among businesses for every month since June 2011. For December 2018, the indicator fell to 71 points from 72 points for November. This left the BSI both below the 100-point threshold—signaling another month of pessimism—and at the lowest reading in 23 months.
A breakdown of the BSI components showed that, for December, businesses had moderated assessments about a broad-range of issues. Notably, they were less optimistic about raw material prices than they were for November, while they were also more pessimistic about sales prices. Businesses had unchanged outlooks regarding their sales for December. On a brighter note, firms became less pessimistic about profitability for December than they were for November. Meanwhile, confidence among non-manufacturing businesses—the mainstay of the economy—fell from 75 points for November to 74 points for December.