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S. Korea's current surplus slips in June

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Published : 2014-07-29 10:25
Updated : 2014-07-29 10:25

South Korea extended its current account surplus to a 28th consecutive month in June but saw the figure slip from the previous month as the surplus for goods narrowed, central bank data showed Tuesday.

The current surplus reached US$7.92 billion last month, compared with a revised $9.08 billion in May, according to the preliminary data by the Bank of Korea (BOK). The current account is the broadest measure of cross-border trade.

With the June data out, South Korea's current account surplus for the first six months of the year came to $39.2 billion, falling shy of the BOK's $40 billion forecast.

Earlier this month, the central bank raised its current account forecast to a surplus of $84 billion from an earlier $68 billion.

In 2013, the surplus widen to a record $79.88 billion on firm exports.

"While the figure is slightly lower than the first-half projection, situations have pretty much stayed the same since we made the revisions," said Jung Young-taek, the director general of the BOK's economic statistics division.

Jung said the current account surplus tends to inch down in July, hit by slower factory lines and increased traveling during the summer holiday, but added that exports and imports are seen growing this year.

The latest data showed that overseas shipments rose 2.5 percent on-year to $47.85 billion in June as demand for display panels and chips remained solid. The tally includes those that have cleared customs.

The accumulated value of exports in the first half also increased 2.5 percent from the previous year to $283.3 billion.

Imports expanded at a faster pace, growing 4.1 percent on-year to $42.4 billion. The accumulated amount in the January-June period rose 2.6 percent to $263.1 billion.

The overall balance of goods reached $6.65 billion in June, narrowing from a $9.13 billion surplus in the previous month.

The service account, which includes outlays by South Koreans on overseas trips, saw its deficit widen to $580 million from $340 million on-month.

The primary income account, which tracks wages of foreign workers and dividend payments overseas, sharply rose to $2.23 billion from $730 million on dividend income, according to the data.

Jung said while the figure is largely credited to a heavy inflow of dividends in the auto industry, the account is likely to continue to increase.

The financial account saw its net outflow widen to $9.84 billion from $8.13 billion, with its first-half net outflow reaching $41.39 billion. (Yonhap)

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