SEOUL (AFP) – South Korea posted a record current account surplus for two straight years thanks to robust exports of technology products, state data showed Monday.
The surplus of $89.4 billion for 2014 shattered the previous record of $81.1 billion set in 2013, according to preliminary figures from the central Bank of Korea.
In December alone, the current account surplus amounted to $7.2 billion.
The current account – the broadest measure of foreign trade in goods and services – has been in the black for two years and 10 months, the longest streak of surplus since 1989.
Exports, which account for more than a half of the Asia’s fourth-largest economy, stood at $621.5 billion in 2014, up 0.5 per cent from a year ago.
Imports fell 1.3 per cent to $528.7 billion, logging an annual surplus of $92.9 billion in the goods account.
Exports of semiconductors jumped 9.2 per cent, while shipments of tech devices including smartphones and tablet computers rose 6.3 per cent.
Overseas shipments of steel products and ship vessels – the country’s major exports – also soared 8.9 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.
The services account, which includes spending on overseas trips and loyalty payments, saw its chronic deficit grow to $8.2 billion in 2014 compared to $6.5 billion a year ago.
The income account, which tracks wages as well as earnings on financial investments, posted a surplus of $10.2 billion thanks to increased dividend and interest earnings.