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.The country's exports had dipped for 10 consecutive months as of September amid the escalating trade dispute between the United States and China.
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)