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According to Yonhap News,
(SEOUL=Yonhap News) South Korea's current account surplus is forecast to surpass US$100 billion next year as imports shrink quickly compared with exports on weak oil prices and domestic demand, a report projected Wednesday.
In its revised economic outlook for 2015, the country's parliamentary budget agency expected the current account surplus to reach $108.7 billion next year due to a fall in raw material prices and slowing imports.
The forecast is bigger than this year's $84 billion projection, as well as last year's $80 billion record. In the first eleven months of the year, Asia's fourth-largest economy posted a total $82 billion in its current account surplus, extending its surplus streak to the 33rd month as of November.
If the forecast of the National Assembly Budget Office (NABO) is on track, South Korea will join a handful of countries, including Germany, China, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland, whose annual current account surplus lingers over the $100 billion threshold.
As of 2013, Germany posted the world's biggest current account surplus with $254.9 billion, followed by China with $182.8 billion, Saudi Arabia with $132.6 billion and Switzerland with $103.9 billion.
The parliamentary agency credited the rise in current account surplus to slowing import growth that stems from lackluster domestic demand, as well as tumbling global oil prices. South Korea's imports, in terms of customs clearance, are projected to inch up 0.1 percent while exports grow 2.9 percent.
"While the average oil price per barrel is forecast at $75, it may further go down. The won-dollar exchange rate is also gaining traction, which may raise the current account surplus," said Yoo Seung-sun of the NABO.
The central bank's October forecast for next year's current account surplus stands at $70 billion. It is scheduled to announce revised figures next month.
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Source: Yonhap News (December. 31, 2014)