South Korea’s current-account surplus shrank against a year-ago period in May largely because of higher oil import prices and dwindled visitors from China.
According to preliminary balance of payments data released by the Bank of Korea on Wednesday, the nation’s current account surplus fell 43.4 percent on year to $5.94 billion from $10.49 billion in the same month last year while widening from $3.89 billion in April. The country has maintained a surplus in its current account since March 2012.
Goods surplus in May slid 18.6 percent on year from $10.86 billion to $8.83 billion. Higher oil prices and increased imports of machinery were to blame, said the central bank.
Deficit in the services sector expanded to $1.69 billion from $1.07 billion a year ago. The travel balance deficit ballooned from $250 million to $1.36 billion, the biggest red for the month. The main cause was absence of Chinese visitors amid Beijing’s disgruntlement over deployment of a U.S missile shield in Korea as the Chinese made up the bulk of tourists and duty-free spenders.
Transportation deficit stood at $260 million. Construction surplus narrowed to $400 million in May from $530 million in the previous month.
Exports rose 10.2 percent to $46.9 billion in May and imports 20.1 percent to $38.06 billion.
By Boo Jang-won
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]