S. Korea Exports Fall
South Korea’s exports declined in January to start the year on a weak note, adding pressure on the central bank to ease policy further to spur growth, Dow Jones reported Saturday. Exports fell 0.4% from a year earlier to $45.37b, following a revised 3.6% gain in December, according to provisional data at the trade ministry Sunday. The January reading compares with the median 3.0% drop forecast in a Wall Street Journal survey of economists. The ministry attributed the January drop in exports to lower crude prices that cut into the value of the South Korean shipments of oil-refinery and petrochemical goods. Its exports to Russia and Mideast countries, as well as the European Union, suffered a setback, it said.