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Biz outlook for Feb. worst in 7 months: poll

All News 11:00 January 28, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korean companies' business outlook has fallen to the worst level in seven months for February as they remain worried about shrinking consumption and bleak prospects of exports in global markets, a poll showed Thursday.

According to the survey of 600 South Korean companies conducted by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), the business survey index (BSI) for February stood at 86.3, the lowest reading since July when it was at 84.3.

A reading below 100 means that companies that are pessimistic about business conditions down the road outnumber optimistic companies.

The BSI has been on the decline in recent months since peaking at 101.2 in October last year. The index for February was down from the previous month's 93.2.

Weak consumer spending was cited as one of the most worrying factors, with 30.6 percent of those surveyed singling out it as a major risk. Companies were also concerned about the slowing growth in China as it could undercut their exports.

The index for domestic demand, exports and investment stood at 89.8, 92.3 and 96. Those for employment and profitability were also below the 100-mark, the survey showed.

"Despite the (positive) impact of the Lunar New Year holiday in February, the reason why the BSI fell sharply is because there are concerns not just over external factors such as the slowing growth in China and currency instability but also slumping consumer spending," an FKI official said.


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