Economic Sentiment Falls in June Due to Concerns Over Eurozone Crisis
The ongoing eurozone debt crisis is hurting the sentiment of Korean companies and consumers.
According to figures released by the Bank of Korea on Wednesday, the nation's Economic Sentiment Index stood at 97 in June, down four points from a month earlier.
The index reflects the private sector's sentiment on economic conditions, and is measured by averaging the consumer and business confidence indexes.
Korea's consumer sentiment index fell for the first time in five months in June to 1-hundred-1, while the manufacturers' business sentiment remained at a relatively low figure of 84.
A reading below 1-hundred means more people are skeptical than optimistic about the economy.
And they don't expect things to get much better.
[Interview : Shin Chang-mock, Research Fellow
Samsung Economics Research Institute] "Greece's economic crisis led to the eurozone's economic uncertainties, which has affected the global economy and Korea. We're unlikely to see major increases in Korea's Economic Sentiment Index for the 2nd half of the year."
Korean manufacturers' business confidence for July dropped to 84. a four-month low, as most think conditions will worsen in the coming months due to the persisting turmoil in Europe.
Concerns over the eurozone debt crisis seems to be the biggest concern as Korea's finance ministry prepares measures for the latter half of the year.
Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan told lawmakers on Wednesday that the government will work on strengthening the economy in the second half, in case the current global economic slowdown is prolonged.
This will be done by focusing on supporting growth and stabilizing conditions for the working class.
The finance ministry is expected to unveil more details on its economic policy for the second half of the year later this week.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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