South Korea’s current account balance stays in black

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Seoul, April 1 (IANS) South Korea’s current account balance stayed in the black for 48 months in a row, keeping the longest monthly surplus due to a faster fall in imports than exports that is called recession-type surplus, central bank data showed on Friday.

Current account surplus, the broadest measure of cross-border capital flow, reached $7.51 billion in February, almost unchanged from the previous month, Xinhua news agency cited the Bank of Korea (BOK) as showing. It marked a surplus for 48 months from March 2012.

Trade terms improved as cheap crude oil helped lower energy costs and pull down imports at a faster clip than exports.

Dubai crude, South Korea’s benchmark, averaged $29.6 per barrel in February, falling sharply from $55.6 a year earlier.

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Imports tumbled 13.9 percent from a year ago to $28.65 billion in February thanks to cheaper oil, while exports shrank 9.3 percent to $36.55 billion.

Surplus in primary income account, which gauges investment and interest incomes as well as salary, reduced to $850 million in February amid lower dividend income.

Financial account, which gauges cross-border capital flow without transactions in goods and services, posted an outflow of $9.5 billion in February.

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