Higher shipping rates have bumped up South Korea’s surplus in the current account in February and extended a black streak into the 10th month.
The country’s current account registered a surplus of $8.03 billion in February, $1.6 billion added from a year earlier, according to the preliminary data released by the Bank of Korea on Wednesday.
It is the 10th month in a row for the current account to stay in the black.
The surplus in the goods account came at $6.05 billion, eased by $550 million compared to a year earlier. Exports grew 9.2 percent on year to $44.71 billion, and imports gained 12.6 percent to $38.66 billion.
Service account reversed to a surplus of $130 million from a $610 million deficit in the previous month. A year earlier, it recorded $1.44 billion in the red.
The turnaround owed much to the rise in global shipping charges. Transportation account surplus amounted to $810 million.
The deficit in travel account narrowed to $340 million from $470 million posted a year earlier, with the number of Koreans traveling overseas sinking 93.5 percent on year.
The primary income account, which includes the net flow of profits from overseas investments and net remittance flows from migrant workers, ran a surplus of $2.12 billion, increasing $900 million from a year earlier, led by dividend income growth. Dividends income totaled at $1.5 billion, nearly tripled compared to a year earlier.
Net assets in the financial account added $7.43 billion. Koreans’ direct overseas investment expanded by $3.33 billion amid retail share trading boom. Foreigner’s direct investment in Korea, however, fell by $130 million.
Koreans’ overseas stock investment swelled by $9.38 billion, while foreigners’ investment in Korean stocks gained $7.02 billion.
Derivative investment decreased $1 billion.
Reserves assets, referring to the foreign exchange reserve with exchange rate effect factored out, stretched by $2.24 billion.
By Cho Jeehyun
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