By Kim Hyelin and Yoon Sojung
Overall business sentiment in Korea in August has risen for the fourth consecutive month in returning to the level seen in the early stage of COVID-19.
The Bank of Korea on Aug. 26 announced its business survey (BSI) and economic sentiment (ESI) indexes, saying the BSI for the business conditions of all sectors this month was 66, up four points from last month.
The BSI thus increased for four months in a row since April, when it dropped to 51, and reached its highest point since 75 in January right before the pandemic hit the country.
The BSI gauges corporate perceptions of the economy. If more businesses have pessimistic rather than optimistic prospects, the index falls below 100.
By sector, the BSI for manufacturers recorded 66, up seven points from last month backed by the automotive and raw materials industries. That for the non-manufacturing sector stood at 66, up a point led by information and communications technology.
By size, the BSI for both corporations and small to medium companies jumped eight points. That for export-oriented companies surged eight points and those focused on domestic demand rose seven.The BSI outlook for next month also showed optimism overall. The index for business conditions in manufacturing rose seven points to 68 for September, while that of non-manufacturing went up six points to 69.
Meanwhile, the ESI, which is combined with the consumer survey index to show overall consumer sentiment, recorded 79.7 this month, up 6.9 points from last month to also mark fourth straight months of increase.