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Korea Business Confidence January 2020

Korea: Forward-looking manufacturing business confidence slightly less pessimistic in January

The Bank of Korea’s forward-looking business confidence indicator for manufacturers ticked up to 73 in January from 71 in December, while confidence in the non-manufacturing sector also increased to 75 points in January from 74 in the month prior. Nevertheless, both readings remained well below the 100-point threshold separating pessimism from optimism.

The slight improvement in business sentiment among manufacturers was led by more optimistic views towards raw material purchase prices, while businesses’ views regarding sales and sales prices also increased in January. The Bank does not collect information about the drivers of sentiment among non-manufacturing firms.

Looking ahead, an uncertain global growth outlook and heightened geopolitical tensions should continue to hamstring business confidence and, thus, fixed investment prospects. That being said, the Bank of Korea’s ongoing accommodative stance will likely support business confidence this year.

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