Cur­rent ac­count sur­plus jumps to 9-month high

The Korea Times - - FINANCE -

The coun­try’s cur­rent ac­count sur­plus grew for a third con­sec­u­tive month to a nine-month high in July on an in­creased trade sur­plus and a nar­row­ing deficit in the ser­vice sec­tor, cen­tral bank data showed Thurs­day.

The sur­plus came to $6.95 bil­lion in the month, the high­est since Oc­to­ber 2018, when the coun­try posted a $9.35 bil­lion sur­plus, ac­cord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The ac­count bal­ance has been in the black since April when the coun­try posted a $664 mil­lion deficit, its first deficit in seven years.

The July tally also marks an in­crease from a $6.38 bil­lion sur­plus posted the month be­fore. From a year ear­lier, how­ever, the fig­ure marks a 18.7 per­cent plunge.

In July, the coun­try’s goods ac­count sur­plus came to $6.19 bil­lion, slightly dip­ping from a $6.27 bil­lion sur­plus in the pre­vi­ous month.

Ex­ports dipped 10.9 per­cent yearon-year to $48.26 bil­lion in July, while im­ports fell 3 per­cent to $42.08 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the BOK.

“Ex­ports dropped partly due to a con­tin­ued slump in the semi­con­duc­tor mar­ket and de­cline in global oil prices,” Moon So-sang, head of the BOK’s mone­tary & fi­nan­cial sta­tis­tics divi­sion, told a press brief­ing.

The ser­vice ac­count deficit, on the other hand, nar­rowed to $1.67 bil­lion from $2.09 bil­lion over the cited pe­riod.

The chronic deficit in the tourism ac­count shrank to $1.18 bil­lion from $1.49 bil­lion a year ear­lier, partly due to a rise in the num­ber of for­eign vis­i­tors to the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to the BOK of­fi­cial.

For the first seven months of the year, the coun­try’s cur­rent ac­count sur­plus came to $28.72 bil­lion, down from $37.45 bil­lion over the same pe­riod last year.

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