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Manufacturing sentiment hits 11-year low on virus woes

All News 14:49 April 02, 2020

SEOUL, April 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korean manufacturers' business sentiment tumbled to an 11-year low in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a poll showed Thursday.

A survey of some 2,200 manufacturing firms put the business sentiment index (BSI) at 57 for the April-June period, the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) said.

The figure is down 18 points from the previous quarter and at the lowest level since the first quarter of 2009, shortly after the global financial crisis.

A reading below 100 means companies expecting worsening business conditions outnumber those that anticipate improvements.

Manufacturing sentiment hits 11-year low on virus woes - 1

The chamber blamed the tumble in business sentiment on the spread of the novel coronavirus across the globe, which has disrupted production and shut down plants.

The outlook for exports stood at 63 for the current quarter, down 25 points from the prior quarter, and the forecast for domestic demand also fell 15 points to 56.

According to the findings, nearly 71 percent of the respondents said their business activities have been hit by the global spread of COVID-19.

The surveyed firms also said their first-quarter sales are estimated to have fallen an average of 22 percent in the first quarter of this year from a year earlier.

The new coronavirus has been gripping the world since December last year, leaving over 930,000 people infected and more than 46,800 dead globally.

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