South Korea’s exports bounced back last month after three months of contraction because of improved demand from China and Southeast Asia, government data showed yesterday.
Exports last month grew 1.2 percent from a year earlier to US$47.2 billion, compared with a 2 percent contraction in September, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.
“Demand in China and ASEAN somewhat increased in October,” a senior official at the ministry said.
“Shipments of IT [information technology] products also increased due to seasonal reasons,” the official said.
Imports last month gained 1.5 percent year-on-year to US$43.4 billion, compared with a 6 percent drop the previous month.
Last month’s trade surplus stood at US$3.8 billion, up from US$1.44 billion a year earlier.
Government data released yesterday also showed South Korea’s inflation accelerated to 2.1 percent last month, but remained comfortably within the central bank’s 2 percent to 4 percent target range.
The consumer price index rose 2.1 percent year-on-year, compared with a 2 percent gain in September, according to Statistics Korea.
Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, was 1.5 percent last month, up from 1.4 percent in September.
The government in June cut its headline inflation forecast for this year to 2.8 percent, from its previous estimate of 3.2 percent.
The Bank of Korea slashed its key interest rate by 25 basis points last month for the second time this year to 2.75 percent as it took advantage of the tame inflation rate to try and boost the slowing economy.
South Korea’s economy grew 0.2 percent in the July-September quarter from the previous three months — the slowest pace in nearly three years as the eurozone crisis impacted investment activity.