South Korean firms' business sentiment improved for the third consecutive month in July as active stimulus measures boosted hopes for an economic recovery.
According to the Bank of Korea on Thursday, the business survey index(BSI) for all industries came to 60 for the month, up four points from the previous month.
The four-point rise marks the largest gain since March of last year. The index has risen for three straight months, although it's still lower than the 76 posted in December 2019 before the COVID-19 outbreak.
A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists.
A BOK official said the index has yet to recover to the levels seen before the virus outbreak, but it's certainly on a recovery phase.
The index for manufacturers also jumped six points on-month to 57 in July, the largest gain since October 2013 when it grew six points.
The BSI for non-manufacturers, which includes restaurants, wholesale and retail businesses, rose two points to 62, posting growth for four straight months.