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(LEAD) Korea's current account surplus narrows in Jan. on service deficit

All News 09:10 March 02, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with additional details in paras 6-8)

SEOUL, March 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's current account surplus narrowed from a month earlier in January as the country suffered a slump in exports and its deficit in the service sector widened, central bank data showed Wednesday.

The current account surplus came to US$7.06 billion last month, compared with a revised $7.38 billion surplus in the previous month, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

From a year earlier, the January tally, however, marks a 12.8 percent spike. January marks the 47th consecutive month of a surplus.

The on-month drop was largely attributed to a cut in the goods account surplus, which plunged to $8.11 billion from a $10.68 billion surplus in the previous month.

Asia's fourth-largest economy posted an 18.8 percent on-year drop in its outbound shipments in January amid waning global demand and low oil prices.

The deficit in the service account widened from $1.7 billion in December to $1.9 billion last month despite a $20 million surplus in the intellectual property account, marking a turnaround from a $220 million deficit in the previous month.

The primary income account shifted to a surplus from a revised $590 million deficit in December.

"The primary income account reversed from its $0.6 billion deficit the month before to a surplus of $1.25 billion, in line with a decrease in the payments on equity account," the BOK said in a press release.


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