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South Korea’s Current Account Surplus Hits 81-month Low
Sluggish Exports Shrink Surplus
South Korea’s Current Account Surplus Hits 81-month Low
  • By Jung Suk-yee
  • May 9, 2019, 09:47
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South Korea’s current account surplus in the first quarter of this year was the smallest since the second quarter of 2012.

The Bank of Korea announced on May 8 that South Korea’s current account surplus totaled US$11.25 billion in the first quarter of this year. It is the smallest current account surplus since the second quarter of 2012, when it added up to US$10.94 billion.

In the first quarter, the goods account surplus fell to US$19.61 billion, led by a decline in exports attributable to a slowdown of the semiconductor industry. The goods account surplus is the smallest since the first quarter of 2014, when it totaled US$17.06 billion. Korea's exports fell 8.4 percent year on year to US$137.5 billion in the first quarter of this year while imports went down 7.6 percent to US$117.89 billion.

In March this year, South Korea posted a current account surplus of US$4.82 billion to remain in the black for the 83rd consecutive month. The surplus fell by close to US$300 million in one year as the goods account surplus fell.
 

Experts point out that South Korea might have posted a current account deficit last month in that a decline in goods account surplus is ongoing and dividend remittance by foreigners is concentrated in April.