Korean spending overseas on credit cards drops to US$4.6b

Business | 21 Nov 2018 11:20 am

Overseas card spending by South Koreans dropped for the second straight quarter in the third quarter amid a strengthening U.S. dollar, central bank data showed today.

In the July-September period, South Koreans spent US$4.64 billion using cards abroad, down by 0.5 percent from three months earlier, according to the data by the Bank of Korea.

The quarterly card spending peaked at a record US$5.07 billion in the first three months of the year. But it declined for two quarters in a row, following a 7.3 percent slide in the April-June period, Yonhap reports.

On an on-year basis, meanwhile, the third quarter tally marked a 5.9 percent increase.

Overseas card spending includes purchases made with debit and direct payment cards, in addition to credit cards.

The BOK said more people went on overseas trips during the summer vacation season, but a weaker Korean won discouraged them from swiping cards overseas.

The number of South Korean departures increased by 5.2 percent on-quarter to 7.24 million in the third quarter.

The local currency, traded at an average of 1,078.6 won against the U.S. greenback in the second quarter, but this fell to 1,121.6 won three months later.

Also, the average amount spent with each card in foreign countries came to US$286 in the second quarter, down from US$300 a quarter earlier, the latest BOK data showed.

Meanwhile, card spending by foreign visitors in South Korea stood at US$2.31 billion in the three months through September, down by 2.9 percent from a quarter earlier, data showed.

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