(ATTN: ADDS remarks, details in paras 4-6)
By Kim Deok-hyun
SEOUL, Sept. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's current account surplus slightly narrowed in July due to reduced trade surplus, although exports maintained strong growth, central bank data showed Tuesday.
The current account surplus reached US$8.21 billion in July, narrowing from a surplus of $8.85 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 pandemic, the current account has stayed in the black.
South Korea posted a current account surplus for the 15th straight month in July.
In the first seven months of this year, the accumulative current account surplus amounted to $52.55 billion, compared with $26.06 billion for the same period last year.
A BOK official said the annual surplus may reach around $80 billion as the trend is expected to continue into the second half on brisk exports.
The goods balance logged a surplus of $5.73 billion in July, smaller than the surplus of $7.01 billion the previous month.
The service account, which includes outlays by South Koreans on overseas trips, logged a deficit of $80 million in July, compared with a shortfall of $950 million in May.
The primary income account, which tracks wages of foreign workers and dividend payments overseas, logged a surplus of $2.8 billion in the month, bigger than a surplus of $1.69 billion in June.
Exports, which account for half of the South Korean economy, climbed 29.6 percent on-year in July on the back of brisk demand for chips and cars.
Outbound shipments came to $55.4 billion in July, extending their gains to the ninth consecutive month as the global economy maintained a recovery.
The monthly export volume marked the highest level since South Korea started compiling related data in 1956. The country's exports over the first seven months of 2021 came to $358.7 billion, also setting a fresh high.
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