Overseas direct purchases fell 1.4 percent last year, the first on-year decrease since 2006, due to unfavorable foreign exchange rates and measures to boost consumption, data showed Thursday.
According to a report released by the Korea Customs Service, direct purchases of foreign goods amounted to $1.52 billion in 2015, down from $1.54 billion in 2014.
The drop is in stark contrast with double-digit growth of Koreans’ direct purchases of foreign goods in recent years.
KCS officials said the U.S. share of Koreans’ direct purchases, which stood at about 73 percent in 2014, were almost unchanged. But purchases from China decreased by 53 percent due to the yuan strengthening against the won.
(Graphic: Nam Kyung-don)