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S. Korea records 18th straight month of current account surplus in Oct. Updated: 2021-12-08 04:47:10 KST

South Korea posted a current account surplus for the 18th straight month in October.
The Bank of Korea said on Tuesday that the sum of the balance of trade came to a surplus of 6.9-5 billion U.S. dollars.
Exports in October came to around 55.6 billion dollars, up 24 percent compared with the same period last year.
They were up on-year for the 12th month in a row.
Export growth was led by semiconductors with a more than 28 percent increase on-year, with priming materials and petroleum products also seeing strong outbound shipments.
But the size of the current account surplus was down compared to the previous month and down on-year.
This was due to a large rise in imports amid high oil and raw material prices.
Imports increased around 38 percent compared to the same month last year with raw material imports rising about 71 percent.
The services account posted a surplus of 630 million dollars, mainly due to a record surplus of around 2 billion dollars from the transport sector driven by a hike in shipping rates.
However, the Korea Development Institute, a state-run think tank, said Tuesday that amid supply disruption, global demand contracted in December and the recovery in the manufacturing sector would be limited.
It stated that although there has been a gradual economic recovery in South Korea led by the service sector with the easing of social distancing measures, uncertainties have increased with the spread of the Omicron variant.
It said the tightening of distancing measures could restrict the recovery of private consumption in the country.
An expert said the effect of Omicron variant will depend on its severity.

"If it is more dangerous then it may have long term consequences which will reduce consumption because we have to increase distancing and it may reduce exports because foreign demand will fall because they will be doing distancing of their own and the supply network might be affected even further."

But he added that if the variant turns out to be less dangerous, then the economic recovery will continue and the country could eliminate distancing measures some time next year.
Eum Ji-young, Arirang News.

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