smaller firms-biz outlook

SEOUL, March 27 (Yonhap) -- The business outlook for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) rose for the second straight month in March on hopes for an economic recovery, a poll showed Wednesday.

The Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business' survey on 1,394 businesses showed the small business health index (SBHI) stood at 90.6 for next month, up 3.4 points from the previous month.

An index reading below 100 means pessimists outnumber optimists. The index took an upward move in February for the first time in five months.

"There are signs of the economy recovering slightly, and the upturn reflects hopes that the government may front-load spending to boost domestic demand," the federation said.

The index for the light industry rose 2.9 points to 89.3, with that for the heavy industry rising 3.7 points to 91.7, according to the survey.

Meanwhile, an index gauging their business performance stood at 82.4 in March, up 8.1 points from the previous month, according to the federation.

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