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S. Korean builder sentiment falls in Dec. amid coronavirus resurgence

This undated file photo shows an apartment construction site in Seoul. (Yonhap)
This undated file photo shows an apartment construction site in Seoul. (Yonhap)
South Korean builders' business sentiment edged down in December from a month earlier due to a resurgence of coronavirus infections, a poll showed Monday.

The construction business survey index (CBSI) came to 84.6 last month, down 0.7 point from the previous month, according to the survey by the Construction and Economy Research Institute of Korea.

The December figure marks the first on-month drop in four months. The index rose for three months from September to November.

A reading below 100 indicates that builders pessimistic about the current state of the construction industry outnumber those with optimistic views.

"Despite an improvement in construction orders, the builder sentiment appears to have inched down due to growing jitters over the third wave of COVID-19 infections, " Park Cheol-han, an associate research fellow at the institute, said.

The subindex for new construction orders stood at 110.4 in December, up 7.4 points from the prior month and leading the increase in the overall index.

The survey also showed local construction companies being more pessimistic about business conditions in January, with the CBSI outlook coming to 79.4, down 5.2 points from December. (Yonhap)