S. Korea's current account surplus through Nov. tops yearly estimate

By Kim Soo-yeon

SEOUL, Dec. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's central bank said Monday that the country's current account surplus in the first 11 months of this year surpassed its yearly estimate on the back of export growth.

The current account surplus reached US$6.03 billion in November, down from a record high of $9.51 billion in the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The current account is the broadest measure of cross-border trade.

But Korea posted a surplus for the 22nd straight month in November, with the combined surplus hitting $64.3 billion in the first 11 months of this year, it added.

The accumulative surplus surpassed the BOK's estimate of $63 billion for 2013. The BOK's 2014 surplus forecast currently stands at $45 billion.

The underlying trend of the surplus may lend support to the local currency, which has risen around 1.6 percent so far this year.

In November, the surplus fell from October as trade gains narrowed and the service account moved to the red, the BOK said.

The balance of Korea's goods posted a surplus of $6.18 billion in November, smaller than the surplus of $7.03 billion in October.

In November, overseas shipments fell 1.9 percent on-year to $48.81 billion and imports inched down 0.2 percent to $42.63 billion.

The service account, which includes outlays by South Koreans on overseas trips, posted a deficit of $697.2 million last month, compared with a surplus of $1.65 billion in October.

The primary income account, which tracks wages of foreign workers and dividend payments overseas, logged a surplus of $588.8 million in November, down from a surplus of $786 million the previous month.

The capital and financial account, which covers cross-border investments, posted a net outflow of $6.33 billion in November, compared with a net outflow of $10.1 billion the previous month, the BOK said.

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