SEOUL, Nov. 5 (Yonhap) — South Korean builders’ business sentiment surged to a yearly high in October on a recovery in housing orders despite the prolonged coronavirus crisis, a poll showed Thursday.

The construction business survey index (CBSI) stood at 79.9 last month, up 4.6 points from the prior month, according to the survey by the Construction and Economy Research Institute of Korea.

The October figure was the highest monthly tally for this year, but it was still below the benchmark level.

A reading below 100 indicates that builders pessimistic about the current state of the construction industry outnumber those with optimistic views.

“An improvement in new housing orders had a decisive impact on October’s recovery in builders’ confidence,” Park Cheol-han, an associate research fellow at the institute, said.

The subindex for housing construction came to 92.7 last month, up 10.1 points from the previous month, while that for non-housing construction fell by 13.4 points to 68.8.

The survey also showed local construction firms being more rosy about next month. The CBSI outlook for November reached 91.3, up 11.4 points from October, on growing expectations for more public-works orders.