South Korea’s current account surplus in September exceeded the $10 billion mark for the first time in a year thanks to brisk semiconductor exports.
According to preliminary data released by the Bank of Korea on Tuesday, the nation’s current account balance reached $10.83 billion in September, the highest since September last year when it marked $12.29 billion. It has extended the surplus streak for the 79th month in a row, the longest-ever surplus streak in current account since March 2012.
The gain in current account balance was largely driven by goods account surplus, which came in at $13.24 billion in September. It was also the largest since the previous record of $14.98 billion a year ago. The central bank said the nation’s exports maintained sound performance thanks to robust shipments of memory chips, despite a drop in 23 months due to the five-day Chuseok holiday.
Exports fell 5.5 percent from the previous year to $51.08 billion and imports slipped 3.2 percent to $37.83 billion.
Service account deficit in September reached $2.52 billion in which travel account deficit took up about half of $1.13 billion. The deficit in travel account, however, narrowed from the previous month on increasing number of Japanese and Chinese visitors. Foreigners spent total $1.36 billion in the country, while Korean nationals spent $2.49 billion overseas, the data found.
Koreans’ overseas investment expanded by $2.47 billion and those made by foreign investors in Korea added $300 million. Of the securities investment, Koreans’ overseas investment grew by $7.72 billion while foreign investors’ holdings in Korean securities decreased by $1.4 billion.
By Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]