Korea’s account surplus falls to $5.93 billion in March

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Korea’s account surplus falls to $5.93 billion in March

Korea’s current account surplus narrowed in March from a year earlier due to an increased deficit in the service balance, central bank data showed Thursday.

The country’s current account surplus reached $5.93 billion in March, compared with a surplus of $10.55 billion a year earlier, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea.

The figure represents a surplus for 61 months in a row. The current account is the biggest measure of cross-border trade.

The widened deficit in the service balance and increased imports are to blame for the reduction of the current account surplus.

The service balance deficit widened to $3.27 billion in March from a deficit of $920 million a year earlier due to a rise in overseas trips.

The number of Koreans who traveled to foreign countries jumped 23.7 percent year-over-year to more than 1.94 million in March, according to data compiled by the Korea Tourism Organization.

Chung Kyu-il, director general of the Economic Statistics Department at the BOK, said a sharp decline in the number of Chinese tourists in Korea is also to blame for the rise in the service balance deficit. YONHAP

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