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South Korea's current account surplus grows in 9 months

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | January 7, 2020
South Korea's current account surplus posted the first year-over-year growth in nine months in November last year, central bank data showed.
South Korea port
Economy in South Korea   South Korea port
Current account surplus, the broadest measure of cross-border trade, reached 5.97 billion U.S. dollars in November, up 0.84 billion dollars from a year earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

Topics: South Korea surplus

It marked the first increase in nine months since last February. The current account balance stayed in black for the seventh consecutive month since May last year.

Trade surplus for goods amounted to 7.39 billion dollars in November, down 0.11 billion dollars from a year earlier.

Export, which takes up about half of the export-driven economy, declined 10.3 percent over the year to 46.5 billion dollars in the month amid the global economic slump and the continued downturn of the global chip industry.

Import diminished 11.7 percent to 39.11 billion dollars in the cited month.

Services account balance, which measures the flow of travel, transport costs and royalties, logged a deficit of 1.89 billion dollars in November, down from a deficit of 2.19 billion dollars tallied a year ago.

The reduced deficit was attributed to the improved travel account balance. The travel account deficit slipped to 950 million dollars in November from 1.35 billion dollars a year earlier amid the rising number of foreign tourists to the country.

Primary income account, which includes monthly salary and investment income, saw a surplus of 970 million dollars in the month, up from a surplus of 340 million dollars a year ago.

Financial account, which gauges cross-border capital flow without transactions in goods and services, logged a net outflow of 5.34 billion dollars in the month.

Overseas direct investment by local residents increased 4.15 billion dollars, while direct investment in South Korea by foreigners gained 140 million dollars.

For the portfolio investment, which includes stock and bond transactions, overseas investment by domestic residents grew 2.95 billion dollars. Foreign investment in local stocks and bonds retreated 1.88 billion dollars.