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S. Korea's business sentiment climbs to 4-month high for Sept.

All Headlines 06:00 August 31, 2016

SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Yonhap) -- South Korean companies' business sentiment for the upcoming month rose sharply from a month earlier, but a majority of local firms continued to hold a negative outlook due to weak demand at home and abroad, a survey showed Wednesday.

The business survey index (BSI) for September came to 95, the highest level since 102.3 registered in April for the following month, according to the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI).

The monthly index is based on a survey of 600 largest companies here. A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists, while a reading above the benchmark means the opposite.

The index remained below the 100-mark for four consecutive months, but the September reading marked a turnaround from a 1-point, on-month dip from 90.5 for July to 89.5 for this month.

The increase was partly attributed to the upcoming Chuseok or traditional Korean Thanksgiving holiday, which falls on Sept. 15 this year.

"The index for the month of Chuseok had generally gained from the previous month in the past, but since 2011, the index for the month of Chuseok has failed to breach the 100-mark due to a prolonged slump and low growth trend," the FKI said in a press release.

An index on domestic consumption came to 99.3 for the upcoming month, with a separate index on exports also falling short of the benchmark at 95.2 for the same month.

South Korea's exports have dipped every single month since the start of last year.

Amid sluggish demands at home and abroad, the local firms held a positive outlook only for their inventory conditions, registering a 102.8 reading on inventories, while registering 95.9 and 95.2 points for their employment conditions and profitability, respectively.

Meanwhile, the FKI said the actual business performance of the top 600 companies here came to 90 in August, surpassing their earlier outlook of 89.5 for the month and slightly improving from 89.7 in July.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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