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S. Korea suffers largest current account deficit in nearly decade in April

Finance 08:00 June 04, 2020

By Byun Duk-kun

SEOUL, June 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea suffered the largest current account deficit in almost a decade in April due mainly to a sharp decline in exports caused by the coronavirus pandemic, central bank data showed Thursday.

The country posted a current account deficit of US$3.12 billion in the month, marking a turnaround from a $5.96 billion surplus the month before, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The reading marks the largest current account deficit since January 2011.

The deficit also came one year after the country posted its first current account deficit in 84 months in April 2019, due mostly to what the BOK had then called an unusually high seasonal increase in dividend payments.

The file photo shows stacks of import-export cargo containers at South Korea's largest seaport in Busan, located some 450 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

This year the deficit was largely attributed to the country's first trade deficit in 99 months.

The country's exports plunged 24.3 percent on-year to $36.9 billion in April, while imports dropped 15.9 percent to $37.8 billion, leaving a $950 million trade deficit for Asia's fourth-largest economy.

The BOK said the country's goods account surplus came to $820 million in April, a sharp decline from a $6.66 billion surplus the previous month and a $5.61 billion surplus in April 2019.

The service account deficit slightly expanded to $1.42 billion in April from $1.39 billion a month before.

The primary income account posted a $2.29 billion deficit, marking a sharp turnaround from a $930 million surplus the previous month.

It narrowed from a year earlier when the country posted a $4.18 billion deficit in its primary income account.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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