South Korean business sentiment remains weak for December amid Sino-American trade tensions and the slowing global economy, a think tank said Wednesday.
The business survey index of the country's top 600 companies by sales came to 90 for next month, down from 92.7 for November, according to the Korea Economic Research Institute affiliated with the Federation of Korean Industries, the top business lobby.
A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists, while a figure above the benchmark means the opposite.
The index has remained below the benchmark 100 level since June 2018, when it came to 95.2.
The worsened business sentiment was attributed to sluggish exports stemming from the US-China trade dispute and a slowdown in the global economy.
The surveyed companies said slumping overseas shipments are in turn having a negative impact on domestic demand and corporate capital spending.
To shake off nagging trade tensions, the United States and China have yet to pull off a breakthrough in their trade row despite hopes of an impending small-scale deal.
The world's two largest economies are major destinations for South Korea's exports, the main driver of Asia's fourth-largest economy.
South Korean exports plunged 14.7 percent on-year to $46.8 billion in October, extending their slump to an 11th consecutive month.
The survey also showed the BSI for all of this year standing at 90.8, the lowest level since 88.7 posted in 2008 in the thick of the global financial crisis. (Yonhap)