South Korea’s current account surplus hit a six-month high in May as dividend payments to foreign investors declined and the service sector improved, figures showed.
The surplus, the broadest measure of overseas trade, was $3.61 billion in May compared to a revised $1.73 billion in April and $2.18 billion in May last year, the Bank of Korea said on Thursday.
It was the largest figure since a $4.56 billion surplus in November last year.
The goods account recorded a surplus of $1.75 billion in May, the same as April’s revised figure, thanks to steady exports of steel products and machinery.
Exports declined 1.9 percent year-on-year to $46.3 billion and imports fell 2.24 percent to $44.5 billion.
The service account, which includes spending by South Koreans on overseas trips, posted a surplus of $1.59 billion last month compared to $549.7 million in April.
The primary income account, which records wages for foreign workers and dividend payments overseas, had a surplus of $341.6 million in May as foreign investors reduced repatriation of dividend payments.
In April the account posted a shortfall of $422 million.