Six out of 10 South Korean companies plan to scale down hiring and investment next year, a survey showed.
More than 60 percent of the 212 companies that took part in a survey conducted by Korea Enterprises Federation said they were trimming investment next year from this year’s levels.
Another 28.5 percent said their spending plans would remain the same, with just 6.2 percent saying they would increase investment.
More than half of the respondents predicted next year’s corporate earnings to fall from this year. Some 27.8 percent expected results to improve, with another 19.3 percent estimating similar results as this year.
When asked when they saw business conditions returning to pre-Covid-19 levels, the most dominant view was after 2023, an answer given by 37.3 percent of the respondents. Another 23.1 percent saw it as being the second half of 2021. The other 17.9 percent found business situation already having normalized while 13.2 percent put 2022. Another 8.5 percent pointed to the first half of 2021.
More than 60 percent of the companies said they had finalized their business plans for 2021. Streamlining was the prevailing keyword, as expressed by 49.2 percent of the respondents. Maintaining the status quo was another key concern, a view held by 42.3 percent. Just 8.5 percent said they were thinking of aggressive investment or expansionary management.
By Song Gwang-sup and Kim Hyo-jin
[? Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]?