South Korean exports fell from a year earlier in October due to fewer working days — a month after their return to growth for the first time in seven months — but were still presumed to be on a recovery path.
Outbound shipments dropped 3.6% on-year to $44.98 billion, following the prior month’s revised 7.6% gain, according to data released by the trade ministry Sunday. The latest reading beat the median forecast for a 4.0% fall from seven economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.
Imports slid 5.8% from a year earlier to $39.00 billion after a revised 1.6% rise in the previous month, with the trade surplus coming in at $5.98 billion. The median forecast was for a 4.1% fall in imports and a $4.10 billion in surplus.
Despite a trade setback caused by South Korea’s thanksgiving Chuseok holidays that stripped October of two business days, the exports stayed on track for a recovery from the pandemic-induced sluggishness, the ministry said, with the country’s average daily export volumes rising on-year for the first time in nine months.
Exports to the U.S. and the EU rose 3.3% and 9.5%, respectively, from a year earlier in October, the ministry said.