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S. Korean June Manufacturer's at 8-Month High

Reuters
Thursday, 28 May 2009 | 11:35 PM ET

South Korean manufacturers' assessment of the business outlook for June hit an eight-month high, data showed on Friday, indicating the economy had passed its trough.

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The Bank of Korea's business survey index for the manufacturing sector jumped to a seasonally adjusted 74, the highest since October 2008, the central bank said in a statement.

That compared to 67 for May and January's record low of 45, with many manufacturers gaining more confidence amid growing hopes for an economic turnaround, it said.

Separately, the non-manufacturing sector's seasonally-adjusted business survey index also climbed to an eight-month high of 75 for June from May's 68, the data showed.

Asia's fourth-largest economy barely averted a recession in the first quarter, helped by the government's unprecedented stimulus measures and record rate cuts.

The survey follows a similar poll by a business lobby group, the Federation of Korean Industries, whose business outlook for June hit a 16-month high.

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The central bank poll was based on responses from a total of 2,193 firms.

Manufacturing accounts for about a third of South Korea's economic output and its performance has far-reaching effects on employment and incomes.

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