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ECONOMY > Economic Indicators

Japan current account surplus down in 1st half of FY2019

  • November 11, 2019
  • , Kyodo News , 1:49 a.m.
  • English Press

TOKYO – Japan’s current account surplus decreased from a year earlier in the first half of fiscal 2019, affected by weak exports to the Asian region, centering on China, amid persisting U.S-China trade tensions, government data showed Monday.

 

In the April-September period, the surplus in the current account — one of the widest gauges of international trade — came to 10.34 trillion yen ($95 billion), down 3.3 percent from a year earlier but marking the 11th straight fiscal-half-year period in the black, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report.

 

Among key components, goods trade fell into the red with a deficit of 24.1 billion yen. Exports dropped 6.1 percent to 37.58 trillion yen as shipments of auto parts and semiconductor manufacturing equipment to China declined in the six months ending September.

 

Imports fell 3.3 percent from a year earlier to 37.60 trillion yen on lower purchases of liquefied natural gas and other energy products from the Middle East.

 

The surplus in the primary income account, which reflects returns on foreign investment, edged down to 11.31 trillion yen but continued to help the world’s third-largest economy remain in the black.

 

Services trade, which included cargo shipping and passenger transportation, ran a deficit of 271.1 billion yen but the margin was the smallest on record on a fiscal-first-half basis.

In services, the travel surplus stood at 1.35 trillion yen, supported by an increase in the number of foreign travelers to Japan in the reporting period.

 

For September alone, Japan logged a current account surplus of 1.61 trillion yen, marking the 63rd straight month of black ink.

 

The goods trade surplus tumbled 99.6 percent from a year earlier to 1.1 billion yen. Services trade had a surplus of 40.1 billion yen and primary income registered a surplus of 1.81 trillion yen.

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