South Korea exports likely rose for a 14th straight month in December, wrapping up the year with an upbeat tone as global demand for memory chips and petroleum goods continued.
In a poll, 10 economists saw exports expanding 10.3 per cent from a year earlier, picking up some pace after November’s 9.5 per cent gain, according to Reuters.
“Overseas sales will continue to speed up this month on strong global demand on memory chips, petroleum goods and ships,” said Kim Doo-un, an economist at Hana Financial Investment.
He said exports “are likely to maintain current robust growth in 2018, though some downside risks remain” such as possible revision of Seoul’s free trade pact with the United States and appreciation of South Korean won.
South Korea’s exports from Dec. 1 to Dec. 20 soared 16.4 per cent from a year earlier, while imports jumped 19.5 per cent over the same period, preliminary data from the government showed.
The poll’s median forecast for imports was a rise of 12.1 per cent in December, a shade less than the annual increase of 12.7 per cent rise a month earlier.
The poll on Tuesday also showed economists expect South Korea’s industrial production rose 1.2 per cent in November from a month earlier, rebounding sharply from October’s decline of 1.1 per cent.
In the poll, the annual inflation rate for December was seen at 1.5 per cent, slightly up from 1.3 per cent the previous month.
Industrial output is due on Thursday and inflation data on Friday, while December trade data will be released on Jan. 1.