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S. Korean builder sentiment hits 17-month low in Jan.

All News 11:02 February 03, 2022

SEOUL, Feb. 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korean builders' business sentiment hit the lowest level in one year and five months in January due to seasonal and several negative factors, a poll showed Thursday.

The country's construction business survey index (CBSI) stood at 74.6 last month, down 17.9 points from the previous month, according to the survey by the Construction and Economy Research Institute of Korea.

The January figure was the lowest mark in 17 months and represented the first on-month decline in three months. The index gained 4.5 points in November from the prior month and increased 4.1 points on-month in December.

A reading below 100 indicates that builders who are pessimistic about the current state of the construction industry outnumber those with optimistic views.

The institute said the CBSI usually falls five to 10 pints in January from the previous month due to a seasonal decline in construction orders, but its decline was steeper this year.

"On top of the seasonal factor, January's sharp drop resulted from the implementation of a new law on fatal accidents and growing uncertainty concerning rising oil prices and a surge in COVID-19 infections," Park Cheol-han, an associate research fellow at the institute, said.

Last year, South Korea implemented the so-called Act on the Penalty of Fatal Accidents aimed at punishing employers for fatal accidents that occur in violation of the obligation to take required safety measures.

South Korea has recently seen its coronavirus cases soar well above 10,000 amid the rapid spread of the omicron variant.

The survey also showed the CBSI outlook for February amounting to 96.6, up 22 points from January on rising new construction orders.

S. Korean builder sentiment hits 17-month low in Jan. - 1


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