South Korean exports unexpectedly jumped by 3.2% year-over-year in May, accelerating from a 0.4% growth rate in April.
This was much stronger than the 0.9% decline expected by economists.
This confirms the unexpected strength in Friday’s strong China PMI report.
This number is particularly impressive considering Japan’s efforts to devalue its currency. Many saw South Korea as the biggest loser in this since it exports many of the same goods as Japan.
According to Bloomberg, the South Korean won has fallen 18% against the Japanese yen.
Economists across Wall Street dub South Korean exports as the global economic canary in the coal mine.
Korean trade data usually comes before the first trading session of the month in Asia, which makes it the first of the world’s major economic indicators to be released.
Since the yen-devaluing era of Abenomics began, Korean exports have been more volatile due to currency swings.
But that’s not to say that the report doesn’t offer a great preview for the rest of the month’s economic reports.
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