This photo taken Dec. 13 shows containers at Busan Port, located in the southeastern city of Busan. (Yonhap)
South Korean manufacturers' business sentiment improved for January on optimism that the country's exports remain strong despite the global pandemic, central bank data showed Wednesday.
The business sentiment index (BSI) for local manufacturers came to 92 for December, up from 88 for this month, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).
The index measures manufacturers' prospects for business conditions in the following month. A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists.
The rise in manufacturers' BSI for next month is driven in part by expectations that the country's strong exports, including those of overseas sales of semiconductors, will continue.
In November, the country's exports spiked 32.1 percent on-year to reach an all-time monthly high on the back of strong global demand for chips and oil products, government data showed.
The BSI for large companies stood at 99 for next month, up from 97 for this month, the data showed.
The BSI of non-manufacturing businesses, however, worsened from 83 for December to 78 for January, the data showed.
The decline is blamed on persistent concerns over the global pandemic coupled with seasonal factors, such as potentially less activity during the winter season.
The fall stemmed mostly from worsened outlooks for information and communications and construction sectors, according to the data. (Yonhap)