Korea basks in exports of cultural products this year
Korea earned income by selling its cultural products and services this year on the back of the popularity of Korean culture in overseas countries, data by the central bank showed Tuesday.
The account tracking exports and imports of cultural products and contents hit a record high of $30.1 million in May, compared with $12.5 million tallied in April, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
The account also posted a surplus of a combined US$72.7 million in the March-May period, marking the first time that it remained in the black for three straight months, it added.
In June, the account returned to a deficit, but the overall trend was better than last year, the central bank said. The account is part of the service account, which includes outlays by South Koreans on overseas trips.
The improvement in the account mainly resulted from the popularity of Korean popular culture, called "hallyu" in Korean, watchers said.
Hallyu or the Korean wave refers to the popularity of TV shows and music that have secured hordes of fans in Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Analysts said that if competitiveness for cultural contents is beefed up further, it is expected to improve the country's service account, which has suffered from chronic shortfalls.
The BOK earlier raised its 2012 forecast of the current account surplus to $20 billion from its previous estimate of $14.5 billion as falling oil prices and the local currency's weakness will help widen the trade surplus and likely improve service accounts. (Yonhap)