More Korean companies are turning optimistic about business outlook, pushing the business sentiment index to a 10-year best in April as global demand pickup accelerates from heavy stimuli across the world.
According to data released by the Bank of Korea on Thursday, the business survey index (BSI) of the overall industry for April came to 88, up 5 points from the previous month. It is the second month in a row for the business confidence indicator to improve and the highest reading in 10 years after 88 in June 2011.
The BSI is an opinion poll on how companies judge the current business environment and their outlook. A reading below 100 means more companies are pessimistic than optimistic and vice versa for above 100.
The latest survey was conducted on 3,255 companies from April 14 to 21, of which 2,816 companies responded. Of them, 1,662 companies were in manufacturing and 1,154 companies in non-manufacturing sector.
The index among manufacturers jumped 7 points from 89 in March to 96 in April, and non-manufacturers including those in the service sector up 5 points from 77 to 82.
[Source: Bank of Korea]
The index of other manufacturers that include sports equipment sellers, in particular, rose 17 points in April, and that of chemical materials products such as cosmetics 13 points, pulp and paper 12 points, and nonmetallic mineral 11 points.
Sentiment of large companies improved by 8 points, small- and mid-size enterprises 5 points, and export firms 12 points, higher than a 3-point rise of domestic companies.
The BSI of companies in the non-manufacturing sector also improved with the construction confidence climbing 10 points and property 9 points. The index of wholesale and retailers also gained 8 points amid improving consumption.
For the coming month, the BSI of overall industry rose 8 points to 89. Manufacturers’ confidence improved 7 points to 98 and that of non-manufacturers 4 points to 82.
The economic sentiment indicator (ESI), which reflects consumer sentiment index to the BSI, rose 4 points to 105.3 in April.
The cyclical ESI, which eliminates seasonal factors, also rose 3 points to 102.5.
By Lee Eun-joo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]