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S. Korean manufacturers hit by financial crisis: poll

All Headlines 11:00 October 24, 2011

SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Yonhap) -- Nearly 60 percent of South Korean manufacturers think that the current global economic turmoil has dealt a blow to their business conditions and performances, a poll showed Monday.

According to the survey on 518 manufacturing companies, 57.9 percent said that their business conditions have worsened from the first six months of the year due to the crisis stemming from U.S. and European debt woes, while 42.1 percent responded they are better off.

By industry, nearly 80 percent of petrochemicals and energy firms said they are suffering deteriorating business conditions with 73 percent of steelmakers saying so, showed the survey taken by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI).

However, IT firms, electronic companies, and car and auto parts makers said they are in a better situation than in the first half.

Citing worsening conditions, 50.8 percent said that their recent monthly sales fell an average of 9.2 percent from the fist half, while 45.9 percent logged a rise in sales. Nearly 60 percent responded that their operating profit dropped from the average in the January-June period.

The poll also said 51.9 percent of the respondents said that South Korea's real economy would be hit hardest by the recent global crisis in the January-June period next year. More than 31 percent predicted that the aftermath of the crisis would peak by the end of this year and 8 percent picked the second half of next year.

"Concern over the negative impact of the financial crisis on the real economy is becoming reality," said the KCCI in a statement. "Local companies should establish a risk management system and seek new opportunities."

The KCCI also said that the South Korean government should step up efforts to support manufacturing firms by stabilizing its currency and commodity prices and galvanizing domestic demand.

brk@yna.co.kr
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