Korea: Exports drop in December
January 14, 2013
In December, exports contracted a sharp 5.5% over the same month the previous year, dashing hopes of recovery. The reading contrasted both the 3.8% expansion recorded in November, and market expectations of a 0.8% increase. In the 12 months up to December, exports contracted 0.9% over the same period the previous year (November: +0.2% year-on-year).
Imports contracted 5.3% in December, which contrasted the 0.9% increase recorded in November. As a result, in the last 12 months, imports fell 0.5% in annual terms (November: +1.1% yoy). Meanwhile, the trade balance reached a USD 2.0 billion surplus in December, which fell short of market expectations. As a result, in the 12 months up to December the trade surplus reached USD 28.6 billion, below the USD 30.8 billion observed in the same month the previous year.