South Korea's current account remained in the black for the fourth consecutive month in August, but its surplus narrowed sharply from a year earlier amid a steady decline in exports, central bank data showed Tuesday.
The country's current account surplus came to US$5.27 billion in the month, compared with a $8.55 billion surplus in the same month last year and a $6.95 billion surplus a month earlier, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).
The goods account surplus has been more than halved to $4.77 billion from $10.92 billion over the cited period, due to a large cut in exports.
In August, exports plunged 15.6 percent on-year to $45.15 billion, while imports dropped 5.1 percent to $40.39 billion.
The goods account surplus in August also marks the lowest since January 2014, when the comparative figure came to a $3.67 billion surplus.
The country also continued to post a deficit in the service account though its deficit in the tourism account narrowed from $1.55 billion in August 2018 to $1.07 billion. Its service account deficit came to $1.8 billion in August, down from $2.04 billion a year earlier.
Its primary income account surplus surged to $2.56 billion from $320 million in the same month last year as its dividend income reached the second highest of $3.23 billion, also pushing up the country's overall returns on overseas investment to $4.46 billion, the third highest in history.
For the first eight months of the year, the country's current account surplus came to $33.99 billion, down from a $46.0 billion surplus the same period last year.
Exports dropped 10.7 percent on-year to $371.1 billion in the January-August period, while imports retreated 5.3 percent to $323.1 billion.
The country's service account deficit greatly narrowed to $15.82 billion from $20.94 billion over the cited period, while its primary income account posted a $6.18 billion surplus, marking a turnaround from a $1.06 billion deficit. (Yonhap)
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