South Korea's monthly current account surplus edged up in January from a year earlier on a decreased deficit in the services account despite sluggish goods exports, central bank data showed Friday.
The country's current account surplus came to US$2.77 billion in January, slightly up from $2.64 billion a year earlier, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).
The country has maintained a favorable balance for 81 straight months since May 2012.
But it represents the smallest monthly surplus since April last year when it hit a six-year low of $1.77 billion.
The goods account surplus fell to an 11-month low of $5.61 billion in January from $7.55 billion a year earlier due to a drop in exports amid slowing demand for semiconductors and petrochemical goods.
Exports fell 5.4 percent on-year to an 11-month low of $49.38 billion in January, while imports declined 2 percent to $43.77 billion.
The services account deficit narrowed to $3.61 billion from a deficit of $4.44 billion a year earlier as the number of foreign arrivals jumped 15.6 percent on-year to 1.1 million in January. The number of departures, however, inched up 1.6 percent to 2.9 million.
In particular, the number of Chinese visitors soared 28.7 percent on-year to 393,000, while that of the Japanese jumped 23.6 percent to 207,000.
Kim Su-a firstname.lastname@example.org
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