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S.Korea's March Current Account Surplus at Record High

Reuters
Tuesday, 28 Apr 2009 | 8:37 PM ET

South Korea posted a record current account surplus for March as exports rose for a second consecutive month, central bank data showed on Wednesday, cementing hopes the worst for the economy is over.

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The current account -- the broadest measure of foreign trading in goods and services -- rose to a seasonally adjusted surplus of $6.64 billion in March from a revised $4.09 billion surplus in February, the Bank of Korea said in a statement.

"If the trend continues, it will be easy to meet the central bank's current account surplus target, strengthening hopes for an improvement in the economy. That is good for the won," said Jeong My-young, a currency strategist at Samsung Futures Inc.

On April 10, the central bank revised its current account surplus forecast for all of this year to $18.0 billion from the previous $22.0 billion.

The current account data a day came after data showing the country's consumer confidence hit pre-financial crisis levels in April.

The goods account in March jumped to a seasonally adjusted surplus of $6.51 billion from a revised $3.54 billion in February, the central bank data showed.

Exports in March rose 7.4 percent from the previous month after gaining 12.5 percent in February.

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Before seasonal adjustment, Asia's fourth-largest economy reported a current account surplus of $6.65 billion in March, also a record high and compared to a revised $3.56 billion surplus in February, according to the central bank.

Overseas borrowing rose by a net $450 million in March after a net decrease of $160 million in February, the Bank of Korea data showed.

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