Public sentiment toward businesses is getting worse, with those in their 30s seemingly most disaffected with Korean companies.
The Corporate Favorite Index, a gauge of pro-business sentiment, stood at 50.8 points in the first half of this year, according to a survey of 2,024 men and women aged 20 and older published on Sunday. The survey was conducted jointly by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Hyundai Research Institute.
The CFI is set twice a year, with the score calculated after an evaluation of overall public sentiment about business is added to scores in five categories -- corporate contributions to the economy, ethical management, productivity, international competitiveness and social contribution. The closer the figure is to 100, the more favorable public sentiment.
The CFI peaked at 54 in the first half of 2009, but dropped to 51.5 in the second half of last year and continued to edge down to 50.8 in the first six months of this year.
Businesses received higher-than-average scores for international competitiveness (82.8), productivity (66.6) and contribution to the economy (50.9), but were rated poorly in terms of their social contribution (37) and ethical management (23).
Respondents in their 30s had the lowest opinion of local businesses with a recording of 48.3 points. Those over 50 were most in favor with 53.8, followed by those in their 40s (51.3) and 20s (50.3).
Meanwhile, the largest proportion or 48.5 percent of the respondents wanted businesses to create more jobs, while 20.2 percent called for better welfare of staff and 14.6 percent for greater social responsibility. Some 12.4 percent wanted them to contribute to improving national competitiveness, and 4.3 percent urged them to increase the nation's wealth.