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Current account surplus sharply narrows in January

Economy 08:00 March 09, 2021

SEOUL, March 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's current account surplus narrowed sharply in January due to higher oil prices, the central bank said Tuesday.

The current account surplus reached US$7.06 billion last month, narrowing from a surplus of $11.51 billion the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The current account is the broadest measure of cross-border trade.

Since the country logged a deficit of $3.33 billion in April last year, the largest in almost a decade, on faltering exports amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the current account has stayed in the black.

The goods balance logged a surplus of $5.73 billion in January, smaller than a surplus of $10.5 billion the previous month.

Exports, which account for half of the South Korean economy, rose 11.4 percent on-year in January to extend their on-year gains for the third consecutive month on the back of brisk demand for chips and cars.

Exports came to $48 billion last month, compared with $43 billion a year earlier.

Imports edged up 3.1 percent to $44 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $3.96 billion. It marked the ninth consecutive month for the country to post a trade surplus.

The country's overseas shipments have been battered by the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the pace of the slump has eased since June last year as major economies slowly began resuming business activities and easing border lockdowns.

Current account surplus sharply narrows in January - 1

kdh@yna.co.kr
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