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S. Korean business sentiment improves marginally in Q1

All News 11:00 January 04, 2018

SEOUL, Jan. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean manufacturers' business sentiment improved slightly in the first quarter of 2017, spurred by a rise in domestic demand, a survey showed Thursday.

The business sentiment index (BSI), compiled by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), stood at 86 in the January-March period, up marginally from 85 the previous quarter, KCCI said in a statement.

The BSI figure has stayed below the break-even 100 point for the past 14 consecutive quarters. The last time the BSI was above 100 was in the third quarter of 2014.

The survey polled some 2,100 manufacturing companies in Asia's fourth-biggest economy.

The global economy appears to be on the path to recovery from the 2007 financial crisis, but internal and external uncertainties remain a burden, the statement said.

The KCCI identified the South Korean won's strengthening against the U.S. dollar, spreading protectionism in major trading partners such as the United States, and North Korea's evolving nuclear weapons program as major worries for local businesses this year.

South Korea's economy likely grew by 3 percent last year, helped by robust exports of semiconductors. To continue that growth rate this year, the government needs to manage risks involving Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, and currency volatility, KCCI said.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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