World Economy

S. Korea Posts Record Current A/C Surplus

S. Korea Posts Record Current A/C SurplusS. Korea Posts Record Current A/C Surplus

South Korea’s current account surplus rose to a monthly record in November as slumping oil prices slashed the value of imports, state data showed Tuesday.

The preliminary figure of $11.4 billion shattered the previous monthly record of $11.1 billion set in October 2013, according to data from the Central Bank of Korea.

The current account – the broadest measure of foreign trade in goods and services – has been in the black for two years and nine months – the longest streak of surplus since 1989.  

Exports, which account for more than a half of the Asia’s fourth-largest economy, stood at $50.2 billion, down from 52 billion in October.

Imports dropped to $40 billion from $43.5 billion thanks to falling oil prices, logging a surplus of $10.2 billion in the goods account.

The South imports almost all of its energy needs from overseas. The services account, which includes spending on overseas trips and loyalty payments, saw its chronic deficit narrow down to $200 million from $250 million a month ago.

The income account, which tracks wages as well as earnings on financial investments, posted a surplus of $1.7 billion thanks to increased dividend and interest earnings.

The figure compared to a surplus of $970 million in October.

The country has racked up a current account surplus of $81.9 billion so far this year. It is on course to meet or exceed the central bank’s target surplus of $84 billion in 2014 – an annual record.   

The BOK however estimated earlier the current account surplus for next year would slump to $70 million.