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S. Korea keeps interest rate unchanged

South Korea's central bank froze its key interest rate for the eighth consecutive month Thursday, citing signs of modest economic recovery both at home and abroad. The Bank of Korea kept its benchmark interest rate steady at 2.5 percent. The last rate move was a surprise 0.25 percentage point cut in May to support growth in Asia's fourth-largest economy. The bank on Thursday maintained the forecast it made three months earlier that this year's economy will grow 3.8 percent.

BOK keeps 2014 growth estimate, cuts inflation outlook

By Kim Soo-yeon SEOUL, Jan. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's central bank on Thursday retained its economic growth forecast for 2014 at 3.8 percent but lowered the year's inflation outlook amid stable agricultural prices. The growth projection by the Bank of Korea (BOK) is lower than the government's 3.9 percent. The Korean economy is estimated to have grown 2.8 percent last year, according to the central bank and the government. The BOK said that Asia's fourth-largest economy is likely to grow 4 percent in 2015.

S. Korea's ICT exports, trade surplus reach record highs in 2013

SEJONG, Jan. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's outbound shipments of information and communication technology (ICT) products and trade surplus in the sector surged to new annual highs last year, the government said Thursday. In 2013, the country's exports of ICT products amounted to US$169.4 billion, up 9.1 percent from the previous year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. Its trade surplus in the ICT sector jumped 14.1 percent on-year to $88.6 billion in 2013 while imports gained 3.7 percent to $80.8 billion.

US trade gap shrinks to 4-year low on record exports

The US trade deficit shrank sharply in November as exports hit a record high for the second straight month, official data showed Tuesday in a positive sign for economic growth. The foreign trade deficit narrowed 12.9 percent from October, the second month in a row of contraction, to a four-year low of $34.3 billion, the Commerce Department reported. That was the smallest trade deficit in goods and services with the rest of the world since September 2009.

US trade gap shrinks to 4-year low on record exports

The US trade deficit shrank sharply in November as exports hit a record high for the second straight month, official data showed Tuesday in a positive sign for economic growth. The foreign trade deficit narrowed 12.9 percent from October, the second month in a row of contraction, to a four-year low of $34.3 billion, the Commerce Department reported. That was the smallest trade deficit in goods and services with the rest of the world since September 2009.

S. Korea posts $6.03 bn current account surplus in Nov

South Korea posted a current account surplus of $6.03 billion in November, the central bank said Monday, with the accumulated surplus so far this year exceeding the government's estimate. The current account figure -- the broadest measure of a country's trade with the rest of the world -- follows a record high of $9.51 billion in October, according to data from the Bank of Korea (BOK). But it was the 22nd consecutive month that South Korea -- Asia's fourth-largest economy -- has posted a current account surplus since it last posted a deficit in January 2012.

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.

Brazil central bank cuts GDP growth forecast to 2.3%

Brazil's Central Bank revised its forecast for the country's 2013 GDP growth down from 2.5 percent to 2.3 percent in its latest inflation report released Friday. The revision coincides with expectations from market analysts who on Monday also predicted 2.3 percent expansion this year. It marked the third time the bank revised its growth forecast for 2013. In March, it predicted 3.1 percent, then in June revised it downward to 2.7 percent and down to 2.5 percent in September.

Sudan forecasts widening budget deficit

Sudan on Wednesday forecast a widening budget deficit for 2014 despite efforts to reduce inflation after a September jump in fuel prices sparked the worst urban unrest in two decades. Budget figures presented to parliament by Finance Minister Badereldien Mahmoud show a projected fiscal gap of 12 billion pounds ($2.11 billion). "We expect revenues of 46.2 billion pounds and expenses of 58.2 billion pounds," Mahmoud said, revealing few other details of the financial estimates.

Australia deficit blows out, growth downgraded

Australia is facing years of deficit with a Aus$17 billion (US$15.2 billion) blowout since September elections as the economy struggles to deal with an unwinding mining investment boom, the treasurer said Tuesday. Joe Hockey said the conservative government had inherited a "simply unsustainable" budget from centre-left Labor and warned that without urgent action Australia would be in the red for a decade, with a deficit of Aus$47 billion this financial year.
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