Korea's current account surplus expands to $9.19b in Oct.

By Yonhap
  • Published : Dec 6, 2018 - 09:09
  • Updated : Dec 6, 2018 - 10:44

South Korea's current account extended its black figure performance to 80 straight months in October thanks to solid exports, central bank data showed Thursday.

The country's current account surplus came to US$9.19 billion in October, up sharply from $5.72 billion a year earlier, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea. The number, however, decreased from September when it stood at a 12-month high of $10.83 billion.


Also, Asia's fourth-largest economy has maintained a current account surplus since March 2012.

In the goods account, exports jumped 28.8 percent on-year to a record $57.2 billion for October, far outnumbering imports of $46.24 billion, which soared 33.5 percent on-year.

As a result, the goods account surplus rose to $11 billion in October from $8.6 billion a year earlier.

The service account remained in the red, logging $2.22 billion in deficit for the month, narrowing slightly from $2.52 billion a year ago.

The deficit in the travel account also decreased on-year to $950 million in the one-month period, marking the lowest monthly figure since November 2016.

Some 1.5 million foreigners came to South Korea in October alone, up 31.1 percent from a year earlier, while the number of South Koreans who went abroad climbed 5.2 percent to 2.3 million.

The number of Chinese visitors reached 475,000 in the same month, up 37.6 percent from a year earlier, while the number of Japanese people shot up 61.7 percent on-year to 290,000.

"Foreign tourists lent support to the improved travel account," said the BOK. "The inter-Korean reconciliation atmosphere may have eased their concerns about visiting the country."

In the financial account, South Korea's net assets increased $10.59 billion in October, with $3.36 billion in direct investment and $6.75 billion in securities investment.

In particular, overseas securities investment by South Korean nationals rose a net $2.67 billion in October -- the 38th consecutive month it has increased.

Foreigners' investment in the South Korean market contracted a net $4.08 billion in October due to sluggish investor sentiment amid an escalating US-China trade dispute. (Yonhap)