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Bank of Korea says it sees exports slump easing

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South Korea's central bank said the ongoing slump in local exports may ease off but will not turn around for some time because of continuing sluggishness in key customer countries such as China.

[SEOUL] South Korea's central bank said the ongoing slump in local exports may ease off but will not turn around for some time because of continuing sluggishness in key customer countries such as China.

"Businesses we surveyed said prices of displays and steel products are showing signs of recovery. Petrochemical businesses are enjoying margins from rising oil prices which would also factor into our projection," said Kim Byung-jo, team head of regional economies at the Bank of Korea.

"We've tried to reflect how the businesses feel but the BOK can't say for sure that the export decline will improve drastically."

Mr Kim added that the fall in semiconductor prices had slowed recently, contributing to the brightened outlook for exports, which have been drooping since January 2015, the longest declining streak on record.

The Bank of Korea report also said domestic consumption and construction investment were expected to rise in coming months, while other capital investment was likely to show little change.

REUTERS