SEOUL, Nov. 25 (Yonhap) — South Korean manufacturers’ business sentiment rose for the second consecutive month in December, thanks to hopes for economic recovery, central bank data showed Wednesday.

The business sentiment index (BSI) for local manufacturers came to 76 for December, up from 72 for November, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The index measures manufacturers’ outlook on business conditions in the next month. A reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists.

On Oct. 12, South Korea lowered the social distancing measures after applying tougher virus curbs across the nation for about two months since late August.

However, new virus cases have recently been on an upward trend as health authorities warned of a winter wave of coronavirus infections. This week, the nation tightened social distancing rules to combat the new wave of infections.

The index gauging manufacturers’ assessment of current business conditions came in at 85 in November, up from 79 in October.

The BSI for conglomerates came to 87 for November, up from 81 for October, while that of smaller companies reached 82, up from 76 for October.

Meanwhile, the BSI of non-manufacturing businesses came to 72 for December, up from 69 for this month, the BOK said.