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South Korean manufacturers’ business confidence sours the most in two years

SEOUL (CNA) – South Korean manufacturers’ business confidence soured the most in two years, a central bank survey showed yesterday, on worries over rising raw material prices and logistics costs due to the Ukraine crisis and supply bottlenecks, while the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant also weighed.

The Bank of Korea’s manufacturing business outlook index (BSI) for April stood at 83 on a seasonally adjusted basis, the lowest level since January 2021.

That was a 10-point drop from March, the biggest monthly fall since April 2020.

A reading below 100 means there were more pessimists than optimists among panellists for future business conditions. The last time the index topped 100 was in September 2010.

The breakdown of data showed exporters were the most pessimistic of all business types, falling by 14 points from a month earlier.

Yesterday’s survey also showed manufacturers were most worried about the rise in commodities prices, uncertain economic conditions and a slowdown in domestic demand.

A view of a South Korea skyline. PHOTO: AFP