Korea: Manufacturing firms’ month-ahead sentiment rises in March
Month-ahead business sentiment among manufacturing firms rose to 66.0 in March from February’s 65.0. Despite the uptick, the index remained below the 100-threshold, indicating pessimism among manufacturing businesses.
Month-ahead business sentiment fell among export-oriented manufacturing firms to the lowest level since July 2020, but rose among domestically-oriented manufacturing firms for the first time in six months. The deterioration for export-oriented firms is likely linked with weak export data for January and February, while the improvement for domestically-oriented firms was likely linked with the seeming end of the Bank of Korea’s hiking cycle in February.