A majority of South Korean certified public accountants are gloomy about the country’s current business conditions and their outlook for next year due to anemic domestic demand and other negatives, a poll showed Tuesday.
According to the survey of 300 accountants conducted by the Korea Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the business survey index stood at 64 for the second half of the year. The figure for the first half of 2019 came to 69.
A BSI reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists.
The number for the first half of next year is slightly higher thanks to expectations for the government’s active fiscal spending and industrial support policy, the institute said.
According to the findings, 26 percent of those pessimistic about the second-half business conditions cited sluggish domestic demand as the biggest reason for their negative view.
Nineteen percent of the CPAs expect trade protectionism to have the biggest impact on the South Korean economy next year, followed by labor policies, global monetary tightening and rate hikes, and changes in business confidence with 14 percent each.
Business conditions are expected to continue to be relatively strong next year for bio and pharmaceutical firms, electronics makers, oil refiners, and information and communication companies, with their BSIs well above the benchmark 100.
But most CPAs predict automakers, shipbuilders, steelmakers and construction companies to languish in sluggish business conditions next year, with BSI numbers ranging from 40 to 58. (Yonhap)