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S. Korea's current account surplus widens in Feb. on falling imports

All Headlines 08:00 April 01, 2016

SEOUL, April 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's current account surplus sharply widened from a year earlier in February partly on a narrowing deficit in the service account, as well as imports falling at a faster clip than exports, central bank data showed Friday.

The current account surplus came to US$7.51 billion in February, compared with a revised $6.82 billion surplus in the previous month, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

From a year earlier, the February reading marks a whopping 23.5 percent spike. February also marks the 48th consecutive month of surplus.

The large on-year increase was mostly attributed to shrinking imports, which plunged 13.9 percent on-year to $28.65 billion on a customs clearance basis in the cited month, according to the BOK.

Exports dipped 9.3 percent on-year to $36.55 billion. The surplus in the goods account came to $7.9 billion.

A shrinking deficit in the service account also helped the current account surplus grow.

"In the services account, even despite a shift from surplus to deficit in the use of intellectual property account, the overall deficit shrank from $1.93 billion in January to $1.27 billion, thanks to improvements in the travel and other business services accounts," the central bank said in a press release.

The deficit in the travel account narrowed to $500 million in February from a $890 million deficit in the previous month, while the deficit in the account of other business services also shrank to $510 million from $1.04 billion over the cited period.

The surplus in the primary income account narrowed to $850 million in February from a surplus of $1.25 billion the month before, due mostly to a drop in income on equity, the BOK said.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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