Seoul, South Korea (4E) – South Korean exports accelerated at a faster-than-estimated rate in December, a signal that Asia’s fourth-biggest economy continues to be on pace for a rebound, according to government data released Wednesday.
Shipments in December climbed 7.1 percent from the previous year to $48.054bn, after gaining 0.2 percent gain in November, the trade ministry report showed.
Imports advanced 3.0 percent year-over-year to $44.377bn in December, topping the estimates of a 2.3 percent increase. Imports fell 0.6 percent year-over-year.
The trade surplus in December stood at $3.677bn, missing the economists’ estimate of a $3.76bn surplus.
The trade balance has remained in surplus territory since February 2012. Exports increased 2.2 percent to $559.723bn and imports dropped 0.8 percent to $515.529bn for the full year of 2013, resulting to a trade surplus of $44.194bn.
Overseas shipments are predicted to rise the most in 2014 since 2011 as exports of automobiles and mobile phones increase, despite the Japanese yen’s weakening against the South Korean won brings limits on the country’s trade.
South Korean exports are forecast to grow 6.4 percent this year after an estimated 2.2 percent increase in 2013 and a 1.3 percent drop in 2012, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.