According to the Bank of Korea (BOK) recently, the country saw its current account surplus rise to $13.22 billion, up $1.8 billion from $11.42 billion recorded in the second half of 2003, thanks to continuing robust exports.
The monthly surplus, however, fell by 40.2 percent from $3.71 billion in May, largely due to a drop in the trade surplus and worsening travel balance, even though the country recorded a 14 consecutive monthly surplus of $2.22 billion in June. The current account surplus measures the trade of goods and services between one country and the rest of world, including trade, service and income accounts and certain government to government transfers.
South Korea's total exports amounted to $123.3 billion for the first half of this year, up 38.4 percent from the same period last year against imports of $108.02 billion, up 25.7 percent from the first half of 2003.
Exports also amounted to $21.6 billion in June, up 38.5 percent from a year ago, while imports reached $18.56 billion, up 38.2 percent. Accordingly, the trade account had a surplus of about $3 billion last month, down $370 million from May.
In June, the service account deficit ballooned to $860 million, up 4.5-fold from $190 million in May, since the travel balance shortfall, including overseas travel spending, jumped to $550 million from $290 million in May, The nation's income account was $20 million in the red in June from the black ink figure of $300 million in May due to a decline in overseas interest income, which fell to $330 million in June from the previous month of $570 million.
The current transfer balance, including overseas remittance, also had a shortfall of $280 million in June, up $120 million from last month. In the meantime, South Korea's capital account recorded $2.2 billion in the red last month even though an increasing number of foreigners invested in the domestic stock and bond markets. The capital account comprises the current account and the crossborder capital flow.
/ By The Korea Times