S. Korea posts current account deficit of US$4.52 bln in Jan. amid sluggish exports
SEOUL, March 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea posted a current account deficit of over US$4 billion in January as exports sharply dwindled amid growing worries over a global economic recession, central bank data showed Friday.
The country's current account shortfall came to $4.52 billion in January, swinging from a surplus of $2.68 billion a month earlier, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).
It also compared with a surplus of $2.24 billion a year earlier.
The deficit came mostly as the goods balance worsened sharply due to slumping exports and rising imports driven by increased spending.
Exports plunged 14.9 percent on-year in January, the fifth straight month of a fall, caused by weak demand for semiconductors and in major markets amid mounting worries over the global recession.
On a customs clearance basis, overseas shipments to China dived 31.4 percent, while those to Southeast Asian countries and Japan dropped 27.9 percent and 12.7 percent, respectively.
Imports, meanwhile, rose 1.1 percent over the same period as the purchase of consumer goods increased. Imports of vehicles, in particular, surged 65.9 percent on-year in January.
Those figures led the country to post a goods account deficit of $7.46 billion in January, compared with a surplus of $1.54 billion a year earlier, the data showed.
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