The outlook for small businesses improved for the first time in four months. According to a survey among 1,410 smaller firms released by the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business on Sunday, the small business health index for February stands at 86.7, up three points on-month and still firmly in negative territory.
It is the first increase since last October when it was 96.3. It stood at 83.7 last month, a 33-month low.
An index below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists about business prospects for the next month.
By industry, the indexes for 15 sectors rose: the index for electrical equipment increased from 83.8 to 90.7; for textile products from 75.7 to 78.8; for non-metallic mineral products from 68.5 to 75; and for automobiles from 81.5 to 95.2. But the indexes for seven sectors fell: for paper from 83.8 to 79.6; for metallic processed products from 87.5 to 82.3; and for foodstuffs from 92.2 to 90.