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Korea Business Confidence September 2019

Korea: Forward-looking manufacturing business confidence inches up in September

The Bank of Korea’s forward-looking business confidence indicator for manufacturers ticked up to 72 in September from 71 in August, while confidence in the non-manufacturing sector also ticked up to 72 points in September from 71 in the month prior. Both readings remained entrenched below the crucial 100-point threshold separating pessimism from optimism.

The slight improvement in business sentiment among Korean manufacturers came amid less pessimistic expectations of sales volumes and prices. That said, businesses were more pessimistic about profitability. The Bank does not collect information about the drivers of sentiment among non-manufacturing firms.

Looking ahead, heightened U.S.-China trade tensions and recent political rifts with Japan will likely continue to hamper business confidence. That said, recent monetary easing among many central banks in Asia and the unveiling of Korea’s expansionary 2020 budget could provide support.

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