November 29, 2017 12:29
Businesses remain pessimistic about the future for the 19th straight month. This is the longest period since the 1997 Asian financial crisis that business sentiment has been in below 100 on the index for a whole year.
The Korea Economic Research Institute said Tuesday that a survey of the business outlook for December among the nation's top 600 companies puts the business sentiment index at 96.5.
A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists.
The average BSI this year stood at 93.5, the lowest since 88.7 during the global financial crisis of 2008.
"As structural problems and uncertainties both at home and abroad continue, concerns appear to be mounting among businesses," the institute said. "Negative sentiment among businesses has become chronic."
KERI researcher Kim Yoon-kyung said, "Macroeconomic indices like exports, foreign currency reserves and sovereign credit rating have improved since the Asian financial crisis 20 years go, but structural reforms and other tasks have not been completed. We need to learn our lessons from past crises and aggressively ease regulation and pursue labor reforms."
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