South Korea’s current account balanced turned to black in May, one month after the country posted its first deficit in seven years amid sluggish exports, central bank data showed on July 4.
The country’s current account surplus came to $4.95 billion in the month, marking a turnaround from a $660 million deficit the month before, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea.
The turnaround was largely attributed to a $1.16 billion surplus in the primary income account, which in April posted a $4.33 billion deficit due to a seasonal surge in dividend payments.
In May, the country’s products account surplus narrowed to $5.39 billion from a $5.67 billion surplus the month earlier.
Seoul’s exports have been on a steady decline since December due to sluggish global demand and a slump in the semiconductor market.
Outbound shipments again dropped 10.8 percent on-year to $48 billion in May, while imports inched down 1 percent to $42.64 billion.
In May 2018, the country’s products account surplus stood at $10.8 billion, with its current account surplus reaching $8.43 billion.
The country’s chronic deficit in the service account narrowed to $900 million in May from $2.1 billion a year earlier.
The country’s construction account surplus widened to $1.03 billion in May, up from a $790 million surplus a year earlier and $630 million the month before.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)