Anchor: The Bank of Korea says South Korea had its 80th consecutive month of current account surplus in October.
Kurt Achin has this report.
Report: Preliminary data released Thursday indicates South Korea had a current account surplus of nine-point-19 billion dollars in October.
That figure is down from September, but sharply up from last year's five-point-72 billion dollars in October.
October exports were a record 57-point-two billion dollars, a nearly 29-percent increase from a year earlier.
South Korea's goods account surplus rose to eleven billion dollars in October, while the service account remained in the red, recording two-point-22 billion dollars in deficit for the month.
South Korea has now enjoyed a current accounts surplus since March of 2012.
On paper, the Thursday figures may suggest a strong export-led economy. However, Economics Professor Yang Jun-sok of Seoul's Catholic University says the numbers also reflect decreasing import expenditures.
[Sound bite: Yang Jun-sok, Catholic University]
"The Korean economy is not doing well so imports other than oil are probably a bit depressed as well. So you're not necessarily having a current accounts surplus because our exports are doing incredibly well, but rather you're not importing as much as we expect. Another problem is the high household debt is keeping both consumption and imports somewhat lower than what we would usually expect. And it's because the consumption is low, we really cannot expect the economy to fully recover."
Yang points out the South Korean economy still faces other serious challenges, including rising U.S. protectionism and labor-management tensions over the government's minimum wage and maximum work hours policies.
Kurt Achin, KBS World Radio News.
[Photo : YONHAP News]