South Korea April Trade Surplus $8.49 Billion

South Korea posted a merchandise trade surplus of $8.49 billion in April, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said on Friday – remaining in the black for the 39th straight month.

South Korea April Trade Surplus $8.49 Billion

That topped forecasts for a surplus of $7.15 billion, and it was up from $8.38 billion in March.

Exports were down 8.1 percent on year to $46.22 billion, missing forecasts for a contraction of 6.6 percent following the 4.3 percent decline in the previous month.

Exports have now contracted in four straight months.

Imports tumbled an annual 17.8 percent to $37.73 billion versus expectations for a decline of 14.3 percent after dropping 15.3 percent a month earlier.

Also on Friday, Statistics Korea said that consumer prices in South Korea were up just 0.4 percent on year in April, as price growth remained below 1.0 percent for the fifth straight month and fueling increasing concerns of deflation.

That was in line with expectations and unchanged from the previous month, matching the lowest since July 1999, which checked in at 0.3 percent.

CPI added 0.1 percent on month in April.

Core inflation, which strips out the volatile costs of food, advanced 2.0 percent on year and 0.1 percent on month. Core CPI had risen 0.2 percent on month and 2.1 percent on year a month earlier.

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