South Korean small merchants' business confidence worsened for December in the wake of a surge in coronavirus infections, a poll showed Monday.
The Small Enterprise and Market Service said its business survey index (BSI) for small merchants came to 85.4 for this month, down 2.2 points from the previous month.
It marks the first time in four months that the small merchants' BSI has gone down from the previous month.
A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists. The survey of 2,400 small merchants nationwide was taken from Nov. 18-22.
December's decrease comes as South Korea is suffering from a recent jump in COVID-19 cases following its November step to get back to normal life on the back of a rising vaccination rate.
At the time of the survey, the daily number of coronavirus cases hovered in the 3,000 range in the wake of eased social distancing rules.
The findings showed the BSI for traditional markets standing at 83.8 in December, down 4.9 points from the prior month.
The survey also showed the small merchants' actual BSI for November coming to 66.2, up 3.7 points from October. (Yonhap)