S. Korea’s Nov current account surplus expands amid easing in travel deficit

2018.01.05 13:36:45 | 2018.01.05 13:58:54

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South Korea’s current account surplus in November last year expanded from a month ago after nearly halving in October to extend the surplus streak to the 69th consecutive month thanks to strong commodity exports.

According to preliminary balance of payments data released by Bank of Korea on Friday, the nation’s current account surplus surged to $7.43 billion in November 2017, setting the longest surplus streak since March 2012. The surplus was up 29.9 percent from October and down 7.5 percent from a year ago.

The gains in the current balance largely owed to the surplus in goods account, which rose 33.3 percent to $11.46 billion from $8.6 billion a year ago. Exports jumped 11.3 percent to $51.48 billion, and imports 9.4 percent to $40.02 billion.

Service account deficit in November, however, widened again to $3.27 billion from $1.81 billion from a year earlier due to a decline in travel account. Korean outbound travelers jumped, while visitors significantly declined from absence of Chinese group tourists.

The deficit in travel account narrowed to $1.55 billion from $1.67 billion a month ago when Koreans made record overseas trips in a rare 10-day holiday season.

By Kim In-oh and Lee Ha-yeon

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