UPDATE : 2019.1.18 FRI 17:40
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Sluggish S. Korean manufacturers' biz outlook continues into Jan.

South Korean manufacturing companies' sluggish sentiment on the business climate is set to continue into the new year amid a sharp drop in oil prices, a central bank poll showed Friday.

The business survey index (BSI) for manufacturers came to 71 for January, unchanged from this month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The index for petrochemical firms plunged 16 points as crude oil prices have been in a freefall, and that for carmakers fell three points.

But sentiment of shipbuilders rose six points on recovering global demand, while expectations for new smartphone models in the early part of 2019 helped the wireless industry's BSI gain four points.

When respondents were asked about their current business conditions, however, the index lost two points to 71.

A BSI reading below 100 means the number of companies forecasting worse business in the coming month is larger than the number expecting better times.

The latest BSI was based on a survey of 3,085 firms conducted from Dec. 12-19, the central bank said. (yonhap)

Kim Sua  edt@koreapost.com

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