Korea: Trade balance remains positive in May
May 15, 2012
In May, exports contracted 0.6% over the same month last year to USD 47.1 billion, according to data released by the Korea Customs Service (KCS). The reading represented an improvement over the revised 5.0% drop recorded in April (previously reported: -4.8% year-on-year), and overshot market expectations of a deeper 1.1% drop. According to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), exports of ships and wireless communication devices contracted sharply over the same month last year, which offset solid growth in exports of automobiles and machinery. Imports fell 1.1% year-on-year in May to USD 44.8 billion, which followed a 0.3% drop in April. The trade surplus rose from USD 2.1 billion in April to USD 2.3 billion in May. The Central Bank expects exports to expand 5.6% this year, before accelerating to a 10.0% increase in 2013.