South Korea's Exports Grow for Seventh Straight Month

By Kwanwoo Jun Features Dow Jones Newswires

South Korean exports expanded for a seventh straight month in May but the pace of growth in shipments moderated.

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Shipments to all major global markets except the U.S. increased. The continued strength in exports was partly due to the release of Samsung Electronics' new smartphone, the Galaxy S8.

Exports rose 13.4% from a year earlier to $45.04 billion in May after the prior month's revised 24.1% jump, according to preliminary data from the trade ministry and the customs office. The latest reading was largely in line with the median forecast of a 13.6% increase from a survey of five analysts conducted by The Wall Street Journal.

Imports gained 18.2% from a year earlier to $39.05 billion in May following the previous month's revised 17.3% increase. The latest reading beat the median forecast of a 13.8% rise.

The trade surplus narrowed to $5.99 billion in May from a revised $12.98 billion in April, missing the median forecast of $7 billion.

Korea's economy was off to a strong start this year.

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Exports, which account for about half of the country's economy, have been increasing so far this year after contracting in the last two years.

Korea's trade ministry has raised its export growth forecast for this year. It expects Korea's exports to grow between 6% and 7% this year, up from its earlier estimate of 2.9% growth.

-- Write to Kwanwoo Jun at kwanwoo.jun@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 31, 2017 20:46 ET (00:46 GMT)