Korea: Exports mark slight improvement in April
May 15, 2013
In April, exports rose 0.4% over the same month last year, which was slightly above the 0.1% rise recorded in March. In the 12 months up to April, exports contracted 1.3% in annual terms, marking, however, an improvement over the 1.8% contraction recorded in March. According to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), strong growth in wireless communication device exports and petrochemicals more than offset a sharp drop in exports for ships and steel.
Imports decreased a slight 0.3% in April, which was above the revised 2.1% drop recorded in March (previously reported: -2.0%). As a result of the small decline, imports in the last 12 months fell 3.4% in April, which mirrored the result seen in March. Meanwhile, the trade balance reached a USD 2.4 billion surplus in April, which is above the USD 2.1 billion surplus tallied in the same month last year. In the 12 months up to April, the trade surplus reached USD 33.1 billion (March: USD 32.8 billion), the highest level since September 2011.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect exports to expand 8.6% in 2013, before accelerating to 10.7% in 2014.