SEOUL, March 29 (Xinhua) -- Sentiment among South Korean businesses over economic conditions improved for a third straight month as political uncertainty was defused amid recovering exports, central bank data showed on Wednesday.
The business sentiment index (BSI) among manufacturers stood at 79 in March, up 3 points from a month earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
The index kept rising from 72 in December last year to 75 in January and 76 in February. The March figure was the highest in 23 months since April 2015.
The result is based on a survey of 1,738 manufacturers and 1,104 non-manufacturers conducted between March 15 and 22. The reading below 100 indicates pessimists outnumbering optimists.
Exports recovery enhanced corporate outlook for the export-driven South Korean economy. The country's exports jumped 20.2 percent in February, keeping an upward momentum since November last year.
Political uncertainty was eased following the constitutional court's historic ruling on March 10 to remove President Park Geun-hye, now former leader, from office.
Helped by the removal, the composite consumer sentiment index (CCSI) rose 2.3 points over the month to 96.7 in March, helping bolster corporate sentiment over economic outlook.
The BSI among non-manufacturers came in at 76 in March, up 3 points from the previous month.