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Business sentiment worsens for April on high raw material prices, pandemic

All News 06:00 March 31, 2022

SEOUL, March 31 (Yonhap) -- South Korean's business sentiment worsened for April amid global supply disruptions, heightened geopolitical uncertainty and the still rampant spread of coronavirus, a central bank poll showed Thursday.

The business sentiment index (BSI) for local companies came to 83 for April, down five points from the previous month, according to the survey by the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The BSI for manufacturers fell from 93 to 85 over the same period and the index for non-manufacturing firms declined from 84 to 82.

The index measures corporate prospects for business conditions in the following month. A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists.

The BOK said that continued global supply disruptions, heightened geopolitical risks and the still rampant coronavirus have dented business sentiment.

The Russia-Ukraine war has driven up the prices of raw materials, including crude oil, which have been kept high due to protracted global supply chain disruptions.

South Korea reported on Wednesday that new daily coronavirus infections rose to over 420,000 amid the fast spread of the highly transmissible "stealth omicron" subvariant.

The BSI for large companies dropped nine points to 91 over the cited period, with that for smaller firms declining seven points to 78.

The BSI for exporters plunged from 107 to 93 over the cited period, while the index for domestic demand-oriented businesses fell from 85 to 80, the survey showed.

The survey was conducted on a total of 2,753 firms, including 1,623 manufacturers from March 16-23, the BOK said.


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