SEOUL, Dec. 14 (Korea Bizwire) – More than half of business leaders in South Korea are seeking “belt-tightening” management next year amid gloomy outlooks for overall economic conditions, a poll showed Sunday.
According to the poll of CEOs of 235 businesses by the Korea Employers Federation, a business lobby, 52.3 percent answered they will carry out the belt-tightening management next year.
Of those polled, 32 percent said that they will maintain the “status quo,” while only 17.4 percent answered that their management will be based on expansionary business directions.
The ratio of CEOs planning austere management stood at 66.7 percent among big companies, up 15.3 percentage points from a similar poll lastyear. The ratio for small and medium-sized enterprises also rose from 31.5 percent to 45.8 percent.
The latest survey showed that 75.7 percent of CEOs assess the economy as now going through a “protracted” slump, while 40.8 percent worry that it won’t recover ”for the time being.”
Asked about economic growth next year, their average projection was 2.7 percent, which is lower than the around 3 percent proposed by major research groups at home and abroad.
Coupled with their gloomy outlooks, a large number of business leaders, especially those from conglomerates, plan to reduce their investment and employment.
Of the large companies surveyed, 41.2 percent said that they will reduce the amount of investments “slightly” next year, while 36.8 percent answered that they will cut new recruitment “slightly.”