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S. Korea logs current account surplus for 17th straight month in Sept. amid brisk exports

All News 08:06 November 05, 2021

SEOUL, Nov. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea logged a current account surplus for the 17th straight month in September thanks to solid exports amid the rebounding global economy from the coronavirus pandemic, the central bank said Friday.

The current account surplus totaled US$10.07 billion in September, up from $7.51 billion a month earlier, according to data by the Bank of Korea. The amount was slightly smaller than the previous year's surplus of $10.34 billion.

The September figure marked the 17th straight month that the current account has been in the black since May last year when it turned around from a deficit of $3.33 billion in April amid faltering exports caused by the pandemic.

During the January-September period, the country's current account posted a cumulative $70.13 billion.

The goods balance logged a surplus of $9.45 billion in September, up $5.64 billion a month earlier amid strong exports.

Exports, which accounted for about half of the Korean economy, remained strong, with overseas shipments in the month jumping 14.5 percent on-year to $56.44 billion driven by brisk sales of semiconductors, chemical and steel products.

Imports also jumped 26.3 percent to $46.98 billion from a year earlier mostly as raw material prices soared 61.5 percent.

The service account, which includes outlays by South Koreans on overseas trips, posted a deficit of $20 million in September, a turnaround from a surplus of $1 billion a month earlier.

Despite the deficit, revenue from transportation jumped to a record high of $2.06 billion, apparently driven by a rebound in global economic activity from the pandemic, the data showed.

The primary income account, which tracks wages of foreign workers and dividend payments overseas, logged a surplus of $750 million in the month, smaller than a surplus of $1.11 billion in August.

The capital and financial account, which covers cross-border investments, posted a net inflow of $9.78 billion in September, larger than a net inflow of $5.8 billion a month earlier, the data showed.


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