South Korean exports will likely slow down in the fourth quarter of this year due mainly to worsening export conditions amid the volatile global economy, a poll showed Thursday.
The leading indicator of South Korean exports stood at 51.9 for the October-December period, down 3.9 points from the previous quarter, according to the survey taken jointly by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and the Samsung Economic Research Institute (SERI).
The figure turned lower, snapping its three-quarter rising streak since the fourth quarter of 2012 when it hit the lowest point of 50.7
The indicator based on the survey of 2,336 foreign buyers and local companies' employees residing in foreign countries help predict the future export conditions.
A reading above the benchmark 50 means that optimists outnumber pessimists.
"Volatile economic conditions and the Fed's plan to pull back from its bond purchases, as well as a possible risk of financial turmoil in emerging markets, will likely combine to worsen export conditions that we have to brace for them," said Hwang In-sung, a senior researcher at SERI.
Meanwhile, the index measuring economic conditions in destinations of South Korean products fell to 50.9 for the fourth quarter, down 2 points from the previous quarter.
By region, the figure for Europe hovered above the benchmark 50 for the fourth quarter for the second consecutive quarter, indicating the European economy is rebounding.
In China and North America, the numbers came to 54.7 and 54.4, respectively, showing that South Korean exports to the two destinations will still be strong in the cited period.
By sector, exports of autos, auto parts, home appliances and steel are expected to sustain the upward trend in the fourth quarter, while those of oil products, textiles, LCDs, machinery, semiconductors and computers are forecast to be sluggish, the survey predicted.