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.
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.
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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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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 31, 2017 20:49 ET (00:49 GMT)