Builder sentiment drops on weaker orders in July

SEOUL-- Business sentiment for South Korea's construction industry fell in July from the previous month due mainly to a decrease in new orders, a poll showed Tuesday.

The construction business survey index (CBSI) came to 85.4 last month, down five points from a month earlier and snapping a three-month gaining streak, according to the survey by the Construction and Economy Research Institute of Korea.

A reading hovering below 100 indicates that builders pessimistic about the current state of the construction industry outnumber those with optimistic views.

"The drop came mainly because new orders declined during the hot summer season," Park Cheol-han, an associate research fellow at the institute, said. "Builder sentiment also failed to get a boost from the parliamentary passage of a supplementary budget."

The subindex for new construction orders stood at 76.1 last month, down 17.7 points from the previous month.

In late July, the National Assembly passed an 11.03 trillion won (US$9.9 billion) extra budget bill that President Moon Jae-in has promoted as a vital tool to create jobs and spur economic growth.

The CBSI for large builders clocked in at 91.7 in July, down 8.3 points from a month earlier, with the figure for small builders falling 10.8 points to 69.6. In contrast, the number for mid-sized companies gained 3.6 points to 92.9

The overall CBSI outlook for August amounted to 84.9, marking the lowest reading in six months due to seasonal factors, according to the findings.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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