South Korea exports surge 20% in July for ninth straight monthly increase

Shipping containers sit stacked among gantry cranes at the Busan Port Terminal (BPT) in Busan, South Korea, on July 17, 2017.
Shipping containers sit stacked among gantry cranes at the Busan Port Terminal (BPT) in Busan, South Korea, on July 17, 2017.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SEOUL (BLOOMBERG) - South Korea's exports topped expectations in July, as strong global demand continues to underpin the nation's economy.

Exports jumped 20 per cent in July from a year earlier, a seventh straight double-digit increase and the ninth consecutive gain, data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy showed on Tuesday (Aug 1). The median estimate of economists was for a rise of 16 per cent.

Imports rose 15 per cent, versus expectations for an increase of 15 per cent.

The resulting trade surplus was US$10.6 billion.

Surging exports and investment have supported Korea's economic recovery even as weak consumption has limited overall growth.

South Korean president Moon Jae-in last week laid out policy plans to boost jobs and wages to stimulate domestic consumption, and an 11 trillion won extra budget approved last month is expected to help sustain the economic uptrend for Asia's fourth-biggest economy. But trade tensions with the Trump administration over a bilateral trade deal pose a risk.