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Korea Business Confidence February 2023

Korea: Manufacturing firms’ month-ahead sentiment firms falls in February

Manufacturing firms’ month-ahead sentiment fell to 65.0 in February from January’s 68.0. February’s result marked the weakest sentiment since August 2020. As a result, the index remained below the 100-threshold, indicating pessimism among businesses.

Month-ahead business sentiment rose among export-oriented manufacturing firms, but declined among domestically-oriented manufacturing firms. This was the first time in four months that month-ahead sentiment rose for export-orientated firms, while sentiment for domestically-orientated firms fell to the lowest level since October 2020.

The improvement for export-oriented firms was likely related with the economic reopening of China, while the deterioration for domestically-orientated firms was likely related with the slowing domestic economy amid elevated inflation and rising interest rates.

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