SEOUL, Oct. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports are expected to worsen in the fourth quarter of the year amid a global economic slowdown, a trade body said Wednesday.
The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) said its export business survey index stood at 84.4 for the October-December period, down from 94.4 three months earlier and staying below par for three consecutive quarters.
The index came to 96.1 in the second quarter of the year, falling below the benchmark 100 for the first time in two years.
A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists, while a reading above the benchmark means the opposite. The survey was carried out on 1,027 companies with exports of US$500,000 or more.
The bleak outlook comes amid a slowing world economy resulting from rising material prices, global monetary tightening stemming from runaway inflation and the greater volatility of the won-dollar exchange rate.
KITA said South Korea's export conditions may not easily take a turn for the better down the road in light of those negative factors.
South Korea has seen its exports grow at a much slower pace in recent months in the face of a global economic slowdown amid aggressive monetary tightening around the globe.
Its exports rose a mere 2.8 percent on-year to $57.46 billion in September, and the country suffered a trade deficit for the sixth consecutive month on high global energy prices.
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