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S.Korea posts all-time high current account surplus

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

South Korea's monthly current-account surplus hit an all-time high in May, with exports growing and imports falling, the Bank of Korea said Thursday.

The new data corroborated some market views that the country's fundamentals remain relatively sound despite a global slowdown.

The current-account surplus in May, the broadest measure of South Korea's trade with the rest of the world, stood at $8.64 billion, the highest monthly amount on record, and up from $3.57 billion a year earlier.

The previous record was $6.91 billion in November last year.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the current-account surplus rose to $7.82 billion from $4.76 billion in the previous month.

It was the 16th consecutive month that South Korea has posted a current-account surplus since it last posted a deficit in January 2012.

Some analysts, however, said the fourth largest economy in Asia faces downside risks such as a slowing Chinese economy and a weakening yen.

The goods account had a $7.27 billion surplus in May, up sharply from a $3.54 billion surplus in April.

It was attributed to brisk exports of semiconductors, telecommunications equipment and petrochemical products.

Exports were up 3.2 percent on-year to $49.59 billion as imports fell 4.6 percent from a year earlier to $42.32 billion.

The service account, including outlays by South Koreans on overseas trips, posted $1.13 billion surplus last month, down from a $1.45 billion surplus in the previous month.

-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this report --

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130626/skorea-posts-all-time-high-current-account-surplus