South Korea sees record current account surplus in October

Business Materials 27 November 2008 14:20 (UTC +04:00)

South Korea on Thursday reported a record current account surplus of 4.9 billion dollars for October as imports shrank faster than exports, thanks to falling prices for oil and raw materials, reported dpa.

The surplus came after the central bank reported a deficit of 1.4 billion dollars in September. The Bank of Korea expected another surplus of 1 billion dollars for November.

The current account is the broadest measure of a country's trade with measures of its goods, services and investment income.

South Korea's trade balance showed a surplus in October of 2.79 billion dollars despite sinking growth in exports after logging a deficit of 890 million dollars in September.

Another reason for the record current account surplus was a sinking deficit in the services account as a falling won, which has lost more than a third of its value against the dollar this year, kept South Korean travellers at home.

Experts said they expected the surplus to take pressure off the won.

The Bank of Korea also said it would receive 4 billion dollars from the US central bank after the Federal Reserve offered South Korea a currency swap in October worth 30 billion dollars to help it secure funds and to try to stop the global financial crisis from spreading to the developing world.

The money is to be made available to the Bank of Korea in the form of credit.