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ECONOMY > Economic Indicators

Japan’s account surplus expands in Jan. through foreign investment

  • March 8, 2019
  • , Kyodo News , 11:31 a.m.
  • English Press

Japan’s current account surplus expanded to 600.4 billion yen ($5.4 billion) in January, pushed up by robust foreign investments that offset a deficit in goods trade hit by a slowdown in exports to China, government data showed Friday.


The year-on-year increase of 1.4 percent in Japan’s surplus in the current account, one of the widest gauges of international trade, marked the 55th straight month of black ink, according to a preliminary report released by the Finance Ministry.


Primary income, which reflects returns on overseas investments, registered a surplus of 1.76 trillion yen, up 15.1 percent from a year earlier, the highest on record for the reported month.


“The primary income account saw increased dividends received from overseas subsidiaries,” said a ministry official, although whether the move reflects an upturn in the global economy needs to be analyzed further.


The wider surplus came despite a goods trade deficit of 964.8 billion yen due to a fall in exports to China amid slow activity ahead of the Lunar New Year, which this year fell on Feb. 5.


Japan’s exports fell 6.7 percent to 5.82 trillion yen in January. Imports fell 1.7 percent to 6.78 trillion yen as a decline in the global market for crude oil pushed down the cost of Japan’s energy imports.


Services trade, which includes cargo shipping and passenger transportation, registered a deficit of 151.2 billion yen. The travel surplus came to 227.1 billion yen as inbound travelers rose to 2.69 million in January, the highest on record for the month.



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