Korea’s current account surplus last year reached USD 76.41 billion per a 2018 Bank of Korea report on balance of payments released on Feb. 15. (Yonhap News)
By Jung Joo-ri and D. Peter Kim
Korea last year posted a current account surplus for the 21st straight year, the Bank of Korea said on Feb. 15.
In its 2018 report on balance of payments, the central bank said the scale of the nation’s surplus reached USD 76.41 billion.
The expansion of global trade volume and the semiconductor export boom helped Korea post record-high exports of USD 625.44 billion last year. Imports rose 10 percent year-on-year to USD 513.57 billion.
The service sector saw its current account deficit decline from USD 36.73 billion in 2017 to USD 29.74 billion last year. The same deficit for the shipping and travel sectors also improved over the same period from USD 5.42 billion and USD 18.32 billion to USD 4.37 billion and USD 16.65 billion, respectively.
On the nation’s surplus streak that began in 1998, the bank said, “Though the global economy has seen recession-like difficulties, the current account surplus streak of more than 20 years shows the steady growth of the Korean economy despite unfavorable internal and external factors.”