SEOUL (Web Desk) – South Korea’s exports slowed their fall in September, in contrast to market expectations, marking the mildest decline in a yearlong downturn, a hopeful sign for the global economy from the bellwether industrial economy.
Overseas sales by Asia’s fourth-largest economy fell 4.4 per cent from a year earlier to $54.66 billion, trade data showed on Sunday, compared with an 8.3pc loss in August and a 9.1pc decline tipped in a Reuters survey of economists.
It was the 12th consecutive month of a decline in exports but the narrowest in the streak.
The decline in China-bound shipments eased to 17.6pc, the slowest in 11 months, while exports to the United States rose 8.5% and those to the European Union by 6.5pc.
Exports of semiconductors fell 13.6pc, the slowest in a year. Exports of cars rose 9.5pc, machinery gained 9.8pc, and ships jumped 15.4pc.
Trade Minister Bang Moon-kyu said exports continued to improve and that they were now at the “inflection point” for a transition to growth.
Imports fell 16.5pc to $50.96 billion, also milder than the 22.8pc drop the previous month and the median 17.6pc forecast.
As a result, the country posted a trade surplus of $3.70 billion in September. It was the fourth straight month in surplus and the widest since September 2021.