SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s exports are expected to rise in November for the first time since August as the shock from Samsung Electronics’ <005930.KS> Galaxy Note 7 cancellation and strikes at Hyundai Motor Co <005380.KS> dissipates and global trade shows signs of improvement.
Exports are expected to rise 1.2 percent this month from a year ago, bouncing from a 3.2 percent decline in October, a Reuters poll found on Monday. Imports are expected to gain 2.9 percent over the same period versus a 4.8 percent drop in October, the same poll showed.
Shipments have fallen every month of the past two years with the exception of August when they rose.
“It’s positive global trade conditions have improved compared to the first half of the year,” said Na Jung-hyuk, an economist at Hyundai Securities in Seoul.
“Whether this will be sustained is yet to be seen as we’re facing a number of global factors that will spark uncertainty, like Donald Trump taking office in the U.S., which will aggravate concerns over protectionism.”
As the world’s sixth biggest exporter with key shipments ranging from smartphones to cars, South Korea has been seen as one of the most vulnerable economies should the incoming Trump administration adopt protectionist policies.
South Korea’s inflation rate is expected to pick up for a third straight month to 1.5 percent in November from 1.3 percent in October, the Reuters poll showed, with prices of several global commodities on the rise.
Fresh produce prices are expected to continue adding inflationary pressure, in addition to the city gas price hike that took effect Nov. 1.
Meanwhile, the same poll saw industrial output likely to slip 0.1 percent on-month in October, down from a 0.3 percent gain seen in September.
October industrial output data will be published on Nov. 30, with November trade and inflation data out on Dec. 1.
(Reporting by Yun Hwan Chae, Nataly Pak, Dahee Kim and Jeong-eun Lee; Writing by Christine Kim; Editing by Eric Meijer)