Roundup: S. Korea logs current account deficit in 1 year in April

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SEOUL, June 11 (Xinhua) -- South Korea logged current account deficit in one year due to lower trade surplus and higher dividend to foreign investors, central bank data showed Tuesday.

Current account balance, the broadest measure of cross-border trade, posted a deficit of 290 million U.S. dollars in April, after recording surpluses for the past 11 months since May 2023, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

For the first four months of this year, the current account surplus amounted to 16.55 billion dollars, turning around from a deficit of 7.33 billion dollars in the four-month period of 2023.

Trade surplus for goods stood at 5.11 billion dollars in April, down from a surplus of 8.09 billion dollars in the prior month.

The trade balance stayed in black for the 13th straight month since April 2023.

Export advanced 18.0 percent from a year earlier to 58.17 billion dollars in April, while import expanded 9.0 percent to 53.06 billion dollars.

The outbound shipment kept an upward trend for the seventh consecutive month on the back of solid demand for locally-made semiconductors, oil products, and automobiles.

Import for crude oil, natural gas, oil products, semiconductors and home appliances gained in double figures in the cited month.

Service account deficit came to 1.66 billion dollars in April, down from a deficit of 2.43 billion dollars in the previous month.

Travel account deficit declined from 1.07 billion dollars in March to 820 million dollars in April thanks to the higher number of foreign travelers visiting the Asian country.

Deficit in the intellectual property rights slipped from 800 million dollars to 310 million dollars in the cited period.

Primary income account, which includes monthly salary and investment income, registered a deficit of 3.37 billion dollars on higher overseas dividend payment.

Dividend income account logged a deficit of 3.58 billion dollars in April, after posting a surplus of 1.78 billion dollars in the previous month. It marked the highest deficit in three years since April 2021.

Financial account, which measures cross-border capital flow without transactions in goods and services, recorded a net inflow of 6.60 billion dollars in the cited month.

Overseas direct investment by domestic residents climbed by 3.93 billion dollars, while foreign direct investment in South Korea increased by 2.36 billion dollars.

For the portfolio investment, which includes stock and bond trading, overseas investment by local residents gained by 3.51 billion dollars, while foreign investment in local stocks and bonds expanded by 5.62 billion dollars. Enditem

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