Current account surplus jumps to 9-month high
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.