Current account surplus hits high

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Current account surplus hits high

Korea’s current account surplus reached a yearly high in July fueled by semiconductor exports, central bank data showed Thursday.

The country’s current account surplus came to $8.76 billion in July, up from $7.25 billion a year earlier, according to the preliminary findings from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

This is the highest since September last year, when the figure stood at $12.29 billion. Korea has maintained a current account surplus for 77 straight months since March 2012, the data showed.

The goods account surplus rose to $11.43 billion in July, which is the largest since November last year, as goods exports surged 14.8 percent on-year to $54.06 billion on the back of rising global demand for semiconductors.

The service account remained in the red in July, logging $3.12 billion in deficit, but it inched down from $3.29 billion a year ago in line with a reduced travel deficit.

The deficit in the travel account contracted on-year to $1.48 billion last month from $1.79 billion thanks to a growing number of visitors from China and Japan.

The number of Chinese tourists spiked 45.9 percent on-year, and Japanese visitors jumped 35.1 percent from a year ago. Overall, arrivals from overseas grew 4.4 percent on-year, the BOK noted.

The primary income account surplus improved to $1.22 billion in July from $680 million a year earlier on increased dividend payouts and interest income.

In the financial account, net assets expanded $10.46 billion in July, according to the data. Direct overseas investment by Koreans rose $2.67 billion last month.

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