• Kyodo

  • SHARE

The current account surplus in January marked its 67th consecutive month in the black as growing returns on Japan’s overseas investments offset a larger deficit in the goods trade, government data showed Monday.

The surplus in the current account — one of the widest gauges of international trade — rose 6.6 percent from a year earlier to ¥612.3 billion ($5.89 billion), the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report.

Among key components, primary income, which reflects returns on overseas investments, showed a surplus of ¥1.85 trillion, up 4.8 percent from a year earlier.

“At the base is the increase in Japan’s foreign investments,” a ministry official said in explaining the rise in primary income.

The deficit in goods trade, however, widened 1.6 percent from the previous year to ¥985.1 billion.

Exports dropped 4.8 percent to ¥5.55 trillion, affected by weak auto and construction machinery shipments to the United States, while imports fell 3.9 percent to ¥6.53 trillion, weighed down by falls in liquefied natural gas from Australia and communication devices from China.

Japan’s services trade deficit, including cargo shipping and passenger transport, expanded to ¥162.7 billion from ¥149.7 billion as revenue from overseas research, development and consulting by Japanese companies declined.

But the surplus in the travel balance logged a January record of ¥266.9 billion on increased spending by tourists.

February’s numbers are likely to drop, however, with inbound tourism expected to take a sharp drop after China banned tour groups from leaving in late January as a measure to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)