Korea: Exports strong in May
June 15, 2013
In May, exports rose 3.2% over the same month last year, which was largely above the revised 0.2% rise recorded in April (previously reported: +0.4%). In the 12 months up to May, exports contracted 1.0% in annual terms, marking, however, an improvement over the 1.3% contraction recorded in April. According to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), the acceleration was mainly due to a strong growth in wireless communication devices and semiconductor exports.
Imports contracted a sharp 4.6% in May, which was well below the revised 0.4% decrease recorded in April (previously reported: -0.6%). As a result, imports in the last 12 months fell 3.6% in May, marking a deterioration over the 3.4% drop observed in April. Meanwhile, the trade balance reached a USD 5.9 billion surplus in May, which more than doubled the USD 2.4 billion surplus tallied in the same month last year. In the 12 months up to May, the trade surplus reached USD 36.6 billion (April: USD 33.1 billion), the highest level since August 2011.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect exports to expand 8.6% in 2013, before accelerating to 10.7% in 2014.