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Business sentiment remains positive for June

Korea’s major companies remain positive about their business conditions for June on expectations of growing exports and improving economic conditions, a poll showed Sunday.

The monthly Business Survey Index for the upcoming month came in at 104.3, unchanged from May when the reading turned positive after it dipped to 98.4 the previous month, according to the Federation of Korean Industries, the country’s leading business lobby.

The monthly poll was conducted on the country’s 600 largest companies with a reading above 100 meaning optimists outnumber pessimists.

“The positive reading for June is based on an expected slowdown of price hikes, recent freezing of key interest rates and improving consumer sentiment amid growing employment, as well as growing exports that recently rose to a monthly record,” the FKI said in a press release.

Korean exports reached a monthly high of $49.15 billion in April, up 25.1 percent from the same period last year, according to the FKI.

The poll showed the country’s businesses believe their exports will continue to remain strong in the upcoming month with the BSI reading for exports coming in at 107.2.

The business sentiment for manufacturers remained strong with their BSI reading rising to 105.3 from 102.9 for the month. The service industry also registered a positive outlook for the upcoming month with a BSI reading of 103.0.

A majority of the 600 companies surveyed, however, continued to remain negative about their profitability as the BSI for profitability came in at 98.7, slightly up from 97.5 for this month.

Meanwhile, a majority of Korean small and medium enterprises predict that their business conditions will worsen in June from this month due to rising commodity costs and weak domestic demand, a separate poll showed.

The Small and Medium Business Administration said that its small business health index came to 96.8 for the coming month, meaning companies expecting deteriorating business conditions outnumber those forecasting improvements.

The finding was based on a survey of 1,406 SMEs nationwide. The index has been below the benchmark 100 since October. 

(Yonhap News)