South Korean Exports Rise 7.1% in October

By Kwanwoo Jun Features Dow Jones Newswires

The increase in South Korean exports slowed in October as holidays crimped growth, but brisk overseas demand helped keep the economy on an even keel.

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Exports increased 7.1% from a year earlier to $44.98 billion in October after September's 35% surge, according to preliminary data from the trade ministry and the customs office. The latest reading missed the median forecast for a 10.6% increase from a survey of five analysts.

Imports rose 7.4% from a year earlier to $37.65 billion in October following the previous month's revised 22.6% increase. The latest reading was also below the median forecast for a 11.6% rise.

The trade surplus narrowed to $7.33 billion in October from a revised $13.46 billion in September, slightly shy of the median forecast of $8 billion.

The much softer October print was largely due to a data distortion, with the Korean thanksgiving holidays resulting in nearly five fewer work days for the month, according to the customs office. The daily average export growth actually accelerated from a year earlier in October, it said.

Exports, which account for about half of South Korea's gross domestic product, have continued to strengthen this year after two years of softening.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 31, 2017 20:49 ET (00:49 GMT)