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Sout Korea exports grow, consumer prices rose

Staff Writer |
South Korea's exports grew 19.5 percent in July from a year earlier, marking a double-digit increase for the seventh consecutive month.

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Exports, which account for about half of the economy, increased to 48.85 billion U.S. dollars in July from 40.9 billion dollars a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The exports posted a double-digit growth since January this year and maintained an upward momentum for nine straight months.

Imports jumped 14.5 percent over the year to 38.2 billion dollars in July, sending the trade surplus to 10.65 billion dollars. The trade balance stayed in black for 66 months in a row.

South Korea's consumer prices rose 2.2 percent in July from a year earlier as heavy rain and heat wave raised prices for vegetables and fruit.

The consumer price inflation hovered around 2 percent this year, posting 1.9 percent in April, 2.0 percent in May and 1.9 percent in June respectively, according to Statistics Korea.

Vegetable prices jumped 10.1 percent, raising the overall headline inflation by 0.39 percentage points. Prices for agricultural products surged 9.8 percent on the sweltering heat and the rainy season.

Prices for livestock and fishery products advanced 8.1 percent and 5.7 percent each, lifting the overall inflation by 0.28 percentage points.

Core consumer prices, which exclude volatile farm goods and oil products, gained 1.8 percent in July from a year ago.

The OECD-method core prices, which exclude food and energy, rose 1.5 percent.


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