Korea: Korean exports expand for first time in 20 months in August
September 1, 2016
Korea’s Customs Services reported that exports totaled USD 40.1 billion in August, which represented a stronger-than-expected 2.6% expansion over the USD 39.1 billion recorded in the same month last year and marks the first increase after a streak of 19 contractions. August’s print beat the 1.2% rise the median-market forecast had predicted and revives hopes for a gradual recovery in the country’s external sector.
Imports increased 0.1% year-on-year to USD 34.8 billion in August and contrasted expectations of a 1.4% contraction. Although timid, August’s increase was the first in nearly two years. Imports have consistently contracted since October 2014.
Korea’s trade surplus totaled USD 5.3 billion in August, which came in below the previous month’s USD 7.6 billion. The surplus in August prompted the 12-month trade surplus to increase to USD 94.5 billion, the highest in the country’s history.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist