SEOUL, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- South Korea, aided by lower imports, had a trade surplus of $3.15 billion in September, up from $1.6 billion in the same month of 2011, the government said.
The September surplus was up from a $2.04 billion surplus the previous month, Yonhap reported.
September exports were down 1.8 percent year-on-year to $45.66 billion but imports during the same period fell 6.1 percent to $42.51 billion, leaving a surplus of $3.15 billion.
"Though both exports and imports shrank from a year earlier, the rate of the drop for exports slowed significantly and the country's trade balance posted a surplus for the eighth consecutive month," the government said.
The government said the slower rate of decline in exports in September, compared with earlier months, may indicate signs of a possible recovery despite a global slowdown.
"Exports to the European Union countries will likely continue showing poor performances due to growing uncertainties and shrinking consumer sentiments caused by high unemployment rates there," the government said.
"Shipments to major newly emerging markets, such as Southeast Asia and the Middle East, are expected to show relatively steadier growths amid a continued expansion of the middle class there and resulting high demand."
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