Startup growth in South Korea declined to the lowest in 15 months despite the government's support for retired baby boomers to go into business, central bank data showed Monday.
The number of newly established firms registered in the court as a corporate body stood at 6,211 in February, the lowest since November 2013, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). It was down 1, 859 from a month earlier, and down 425 from a year earlier.
The startup growth kept a largely upward trend as the government provided support for retired baby boomers to open their own businesses.
The February decline was partly attributable to less business days caused by the Lunar New Year's holiday, and it needs to see whether the startup growth turned downward.
The ratio of startups to corporate bankruptcy tumbled from 206. 9 in January to 129.4 in February.
The number of companies that went belly-up was 64 in February, down 3 from a month earlier. Companies, which failed to redeem promissory notes and checks, trended down from 2013 as banks turned generous toward small firms in terms of loans.
The number of manufacturers going bankrupt slid from 25 in January to 20 in February, with the figure for service companies falling from 34 to 26 in the same period. The number for construction companies rose from 4 to 13.
The default rate on corporate bills, including promissory notes, checks and bonds, was 0.08 percent in February, down from 0.19 percent in January.