South Korean companies' outlook for their business conditions worsened for the upcoming month, central bank data showed Wednesday, amid worries that Asia's fourth-largest economy may face increasing downside risks.
The business survey index (BSI) of local businesses came to 73 for June, down from 77 for this month, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK). A reading below the benchmark 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists.
The BSI of manufacturing companies also dropped, losing 2 over the cited period to 75. The index for non-manufacturing firms came to 72 for June, down 5 from the previous month.
The local economy contracted 0.3 percent from three months earlier in the January-March period, the BOK said earlier, while its exports have dipped for five consecutive months since December.
BOK said sluggish domestic consumption added to uncertainties faced by local companies, noting 24 percent of those surveyed cited the issue as the most serious problem facing them in May, up from 23.5 percent the month before.
The country's consumer prices have remained well below the target inflation of 2 percent set by the central bank for years, while they gained only 0.6 percent on-year in April, the lowest for any April since 2015, BOK has said.
The latest readings were based on a survey of 3,172 companies conducted May 14-21.