Current account continues string of surpluses
The Bank of Korea announced yesterday that the current account balance last month was $5.7 billion, compared to $6.8 billion in July.
“Although the surplus was smaller than the previous month, it was still larger than what we had expected,” said Jang Young-taek, head of BOK’s economics statistics department. “We won’t have any problems reaching our earlier projection.”
As of August, the current account balance was $42.2 billion, nearly twice the $22.4 billion surplus for the first eight months last year.
Exports grew last month by 7.9 percent from a year earlier to $46.3 billion, while imports growth slowed 1.4 percent year-on-year to nearly $41 billion.
The central bank said import goods grew by volume, but value growth was limited largely because of lower prices for raw materials.
This contributed to a $5.3 billion surplus in the goods account, which was more than double the $2.5 billion recorded a year earlier but $400 million less than in July.
The service account recorded a $100 million surplus as the deficit from travel widened from the previous month.
The travel account showed a $1 billion deficit, compared to $840 million deficit in July. August is normally a part of Korea’s vacation period when many people travel abroad.
The deficit last month was even larger than last year’s $800 million. The service account balance in July had a $360 million surplus.
The financial account reported a net outflow of $7.7 billion, compared to a $7.3 billion deficit the previous month.
BY LEE HO-JEONG [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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