, Korea

South Korean small merchants' business confidence hits 10-month low

Restrictions following a new wave of COVID-19 pounded self-employed merchants.

The business confidence of South Korea’s small merchants sank to a 10-month low at 35.8 in January amidst a new wave of the coronavirus in the country, according to a poll from the Small Enterprise and Market Service.

The findings also showed the BSI for traditional markets coming to 33.5 in January, down 11.3 points from December and the lowest reading since March 2020.

South Korea has been implementing Level 2.5 social distancing rules in the greater Seoul area, home to half of its 51.6 million population, and Level 2 rules in the rest of the country since early December in a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

However, the anti-coronavirus steps have pounded self-employed small merchants, as well as the manufacturing and service industries.

The novel coronavirus has so far infected more than 78,000 South Koreans, with the country's death toll from the flu-like disease numbering 1,420 as of Sunday.

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