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(LEAD) S. Korea logs current account surplus for 16th month in Aug.

Economy 10:30 October 07, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details in paras 4, 7, 10)
By Kim Soo-yeon

SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea posted a current account surplus for the 16th straight month in August as exports remained robust and revenue from cargo shipping rose amid the global economic recovery, the central bank said Thursday.

The current account surplus reached US$7.51 billion in August, down from $8.21 billion the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The current account is the broadest measure of cross-border trade.

The current account has been in the black since May last year. In April 2020, South Korea suffered a deficit of $3.33 billion on faltering exports caused by the pandemic.

This file photo, taken Aug. 2, 2021, shows stacks of containers at a port in South Korea's southeastern city of Busan. (Yonhap)

The goods balance logged a surplus of $5.64 billion in August, smaller than a surplus of $5.73 billion the previous month. The smaller surplus came as imports grew at a faster pace than exports amid high oil prices.

Exports, which account for half of the South Korean economy, rose 31.2 percent on-year to $52.2 billion, while imports increased 42.4 percent to $46.6 billion.

The service account, which includes outlays by South Koreans on overseas trips, logged a surplus of $1 billion in August, a turnaround from a deficit of $80 million in July. The August reading marked the second largest-ever surplus.

The transportation account posted a surplus of $1.52 billion, boosting the surplus of the service account. It was attributable to higher revenue from maritime shipping as global freight rates sharply rose.

The primary income account, which tracks wages of foreign workers and dividend payments overseas, logged a surplus of $1.11 billion in the month, smaller than a surplus of $2.8 billion in July.

The capital and financial account, which covers cross-border investments, posted a net inflow of $5.8 billion in August, compared with a net inflow of $6.56 billion the previous month.

The BOK forecast the surplus of the current account will reach $82 billion this year and narrow to $70 billion next year.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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