South Korea’s current account surplus in August reached $8.44 billion and extended its longest-ever surplus streak to the 78th consecutive month on robust semiconductor and petroleum exports, the central bank data showed.
According to preliminary balance of payments data released by Bank of Korea on Thursday, the nation’s current account surplus hit $8.44 billion, down slightly by 3.7 percent from July but stretching by yawning 40 percent from a year earlier. It has kept up its surplus streak in current account since March 2012.
The gain in the current balance largely owed to trade.
The surplus in goods account jumped 22.4 percent to $11.24 billion from a year earlier. Exports rose 11.7 percent on year to $53.27 billion as shipments of semiconductors and petroleum products stayed strong amid recovery on the global trade front. Imports also grew 9.2 percent on year to $42.03 billion.
Service account deficit in August declined 9.4 percent on year to $2.11 billion, the red figure the smallest since May this year. But the deficit in travel account was up 9.2 percent on year to $1.54 billion, the largest since January this year.
In the financial account, net assets expanded by $7.28 billion in August. Koreans’ overseas investment grew by $5.57 billion and those made by foreign investors in Korea increased by $1.2 billion. Of the securities investment, Koreans’ overseas investment grew by $7.17 billion and those by foreign investors in Korea up by $5.68 billion. Foreign investors have expanded their holdings in Korean securities, mostly in bonds, during the past six months.
By Kim In-oh and Cho Jeehyun
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