SEOUL, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- South Korea posted current account surplus for 29 months in a row, heading for the record surplus this year, due to robust export growth, central bank data showed Thursday.
Current account surplus was 7.91 billion U.S. dollars in July after logging a 7.92 billion dollar surplus in the prior month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
For the first seven months of this year, the surplus reached 47. 1 billion dollars, higher than 39.25 billion dollars in the same period of last year when the current account surplus set records.
Solid export growth helped maintain the surplus for 29 straight months. Exports, which account for around half of the economy, increased 7.2 percent from a year earlier to 53.89 billion dollars in July. Imports climbed 7.8 percent to 47.03 billion dollars.
Trade surplus for goods expanded to 6.86 billion dollars in July from 6.65 billion dollars in the previous month.
On a customs basis, car exports jumped 20.4 percent, with shipments of steels, auto parts and telecommunication devices increasing more than 10 percent.
Imports of transport equipments and consumer goods surged 55.8 percent and 32.6 percent each, but those of machinery and grain declined 6.3 percent and 4.5 percent respectively.
The service account balance, which measures the flow of travel, transport costs and royalties, posted a deficit of 1 million dollars in July, narrowing from a 580 million dollar deficit in June.
The lower deficit came as Chinese tourists visiting South Korea increased to 692,000 in July from 574,000 a month earlier. Royalties related with intellectual property rights decreased on seasonal factors.
The primary income account, which includes monthly salaries and investment income, recorded a surplus of 1.49 billion dollars in July, down from a 2.23 billion dollar surplus in the prior month.
The decline came as dividend income fell sharply after surging in June due to a local carmaker's one-off increase in dividend income.
Financial account, which gauges cross-border capital flow without transactions of goods and services, logged an outflow of 5. 92 billion dollars in July, down from an outflow of 9.84 billion dollars in June.
By item, direct investment registered an outflow of 1.01 billion dollars last month, down from a 2.06 billion dollar outflow in the prior month due to a reduction in overseas direct investment.
Portfolio investment, which measures stock and bond transactions, recorded an outflow of 1.74 billion dollars in July, narrowing from a 4.22 billion dollar outflow in June due to an increase in foreign purchases of local stocks.
Other investment account, including trade credit and foreign debts, logged an outflow of 340 million dollars in July, a shift from a 280 million dollar inflow in the previous month due to a rise in financial institutions' lending.