SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ South Korea's current account surplus rose 41 percent in the first four months of this year from its level of a year earlier, the Bank of Korea reported Friday.

The surplus in January through April was $3.89 billion, up from 2.76 billion dollars one year ago.

Officials at the central bank said if the present pace continues, the surplus is likely to top $10 billion by the end of the year, above the record of $9.85 billion dollars last year.

The current account, measuring trade in merchandise and services, showed a surplus of $880 million in April, down from $1.25 billion in March but up from $650 million in April last year.

The officials said the decline from March was due largely to a slowdown in exports attributed to labor strikes and other factors which affected shipments, particularly of automobiles and toys.