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Current account surplus hits new record in March

Source : Bank of Korea

The current account in March 2009 recorded a surplus of 6.65 billion dollars, a sharp increase from the previous month’s 3.56 billion dollars surplus, as the goods account surplus widened remarkedly.   

The goods account surplus amounted to 6.98 billon dollars, an increase of 3.87 billion dollars from the previous month’s 3.11 billion dollars, as the year-on-year rate of decrease of imports accelerated, while that of exports narrowed when compared to the previous month.

The services account deficit stood at 0.65 billion dollars, up from 0.53 billion dollars a month earlier. Among the component account the travel account surplus narrowed, the other service account deficit widened as did transport account surplus.

The income account shifted to a deficit of 0.22 billion dollars from a surplus of 0.48 billion, due to seasonal factors including external dividend payments by corporations whose fiscal year ends in December.

The current transfers account continued to register a surplus, standing at 0.53 billion dollars similar to the previous month’s 0.50 billion dollars. (surplus for the sixth consecutive month)

The current account registered a surplus of 8.58 billion dollars during the January to March period.

Current Account Trends

Meanwhile the capital and financial account in March 2009 registered a net outflow of 2.18 billion dollars, down from February’s 2.98 billion dollars.  
The direct investment account registered a net outflow of 0.59 billion dollars, slightly up from the previous month’s 0.55 billion dollars, as inward foreign direct investment shifted to a net outflow even though outward foreign direct investment  decreased significantly.

The portfolio investment account shifted from the previous month’s net inflow of 0.16 billion dollars to a net outflow of 1.49 billion dollars, since the net outflow of foreigners’ Korean bond investment increased significantly due to a net redemption at maturity of bonds issued overseas, whereas Korean residents’ overseas portfolio investment turned to a net outflow.

Foreign investors changed to a net domestic stock purchase position.The financial derivatives account registered a net outflow of 2.32billion dollars, the same level as that of the previous month.

The other investment account shifted from the previous month’s net outflow of 0.61 billion dollars to a net inflow of 1.99 billion dollars, due to a significant decrease of domestic banks’ overseas deposit assets.

Reserve assets in March 2009 increased by 3.27 billion dollars. Reserve assets increased by 9.02 billion dollars during the January to March period.

Capital and Financial Account Trend

*Press release (Apr.28)

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