South Korea exports rise 5.7 percent in July; trade surplus narrows

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Seoul, South Korea (4E) – Exports from South Korea accelerated at a faster pace than anticipated pace in July, after a slight increase in June from a decline in the previous month, according to government data released on Friday.

July exports were up 5.7 percent from $48.42bn in the prior year, after a 2.5 percent increase in June and a 1 percent decline in May, according to provisional data by the nation’s trade ministry. The improvement in the July shipments was higher than the median 4.6 percent rise forecast by economists polled by the Wall Street Journal.

Imports rose 5.8 percent to $45.90bn year on year in July, compared with a revised 4.1 percent rise in the previous month. Economists predicted a 5.5 percent increase in July.

South Korea’s trade surplus, which has been in the black since February 2012, fell to $2.52bn in July from the revised $5.45bn surplus in June. The July figure was slightly higher than economists’ estimate of $2.5bn in surplus.

Last year, South Korea’s exports rose 2.1 percent while imports dropped 0.8 percent, resulting to $44.05bn in trade surplus. The trade ministry estimates this year’s exports to increase by 6.4 percent.

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