January 10, 2017 11:15
Business prospects for this year are gloomy, according to a survey of 2,400 manufacturers nationwide conducted by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The business survey index for the first quarter of this year stood at 68, down a whopping 18 points compared to the previous quarter, the KCCI said on Monday.
A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists. This is the first time that the BSI dropped to below 70 since the global financial crisis in 2008.
Some 45.1 percent expected that the business environment would be worse in the first quarter of this year compared to the fourth quarter last year, while a mere 13.4 percent gave the opposite forecast.
Most businesses attributed the worsening economic situation to Korea's current political turmoil caused by a massive crony scandal that has engulfed President Park Geun-hye.
As external factors that affect business, they cited the slowdown in China's growth, growing trade protectionism and a possible further interest rate hike in the U.S.
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