South Korea's current account surplus grew slightly from a month earlier to reach a 12-month high in October as its service account deficit narrowed while its primary income account surplus expanded, central bank data showed Thursday.
The country's current account surplus came to $7.83 billion, up from a revised surplus of $7.76 billion the previous month, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea.
The reading marks the highest since October 2018 when the country's current account surplus came to $9.47 billion.
Its goods account surplus slightly narrowed to $8.03 billion from $8.7 billion over the cited period, but its service account deficit also declined from $2.26 billion to $1.72 billion.
Its primary income account surplus, on the other hand, grew from $1.54 billion to $1.83 billion.
South Korea's exports plunged 14.5 percent on-year to $49.12 billion in October on a customs clearance basis, extending their slump to an 11th consecutive month due to weak prices of semiconductors and a trade row between the United States and China.
South Korea's imports also dipped 12.5 percent to $41.09 billion.
"Exports shrank largely due to a drop in the prices of key export items, such as semiconductors, amid a slump in global trade," Moon So-sang, head of the BOK's monetary and financial statistics division, told a press briefing.
The country's current account still has been in the black since May, one month after the country posted its first current account deficit in seven years, largely due to what BOK officials have called a one-off increase in dividend payments.
In October, the country posted a $1.22 billion surplus in its dividend income account, along with a $690 million surplus in interest income account.
The deficit in the service account decreased on a sharp drop in the intellectual property account deficit, which narrowed from a $660 million deficit in September to a $140 million deficit October.
For the first 10 months of the year, the country's current account surplus came to $49.67 billion, compared with a $67.42 billion surplus over the same period last year.
Its goods account surplus narrowed to $64.44 billion from $95.95 billion over the cited period, but its service account deficit dwindled to $18.62 billion from $25.32 billion.
The country's primary income account surplus more than doubled to $8.55 billion from $3.68 billion. (Yonhap)