S.Korea's current account deficit hits 2-year high

S.Korea's current account deficit hits 2-year high

South Korea's current account swung to the red by the biggest margin in more than two years in August, due to high energy prices, central bank data showed on Friday.

In August, the country's current account balance logged a $3.05 billion deficit, the biggest monthly shortfall since April 2022 and the biggest since April 2020, according to the Bank of Korea BOK. Excluding the month of April, when a seasonal factor affects local companies' annual dividends to overseas investors, it was the largest deficit since January 2011.

The balance of goods and services was at $4.45 billion deficit and $0.77 billion deficit, and some of the outflow was offset by a $2.17 billion surplus in income, according to the breakdown.

The trade deficit fell to $3.77 billion from a record high of $9.49 billion a month earlier, and the balance is expected to swing back to a surplus in September, as the trade deficit narrowed to $3.77 billion from a record high of August's unusually large trade deficit.

It said that the current account is expected to post a surplus for the whole of the year, but volatility will remain high on a monthly basis with high prices for energy imports and increasing demand for overseas travel.

The current account had a total of $22.52 billion surplus from January to August, compared to $56.90 billion for the same period a year ago.