Japan logs current account surplus for 1st time in 8 months in Nov 2022

by IANS |

Tokyo, Jan 12 (IANS) Japan posted a current account surplus of 1.8 trillion yen ($13 billion) in November 2022, marking the first surplus registered in eight months, the government said in a report on Thursday.

The latest figure was a record for the month and comes as a comparatively weak yen helped raise the primary income to hit an all-time high, even as soaring imports led to the country's biggest trade deficit, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to the Finance Ministry, the latest reading marks a rise of 16.4 per cent from a year earlier.

The Ministry also said in its preliminary report that the country had a goods trade deficit of 1.54 trillion yen, in the recording period, as resource-poor Japan imported more than it exported in value terms.

Imports climbed 33.8 per cent from a year earlier to 10.55 trillion yen, the Ministry's data showed, owing to Japan's need for energy products from overseas, including crude oil, coal and liquefied natural gas, the soaring prices of which have been further inflated by the yen's weakness.

Exports, in the recording period, were up 20.7 per cent to 9.01 trillion yen, the Ministry said, owing to solid shipments of cars, as well as construction and mining machinery.

Japan's primary income, which reflects returns on investments made overseas, surged almost 54 per cent from a year earlier to 3.72 trillion yen.

The travel balance, a gauge of money spent by foreign visitors to Japan minus the amount of money spent by Japanese residents overseas, totaled a 95-billion-yen surplus, compared to 15.2 billion yen logged a year earlier.

The country's service trade deficit came in at 166.4 billion yen in November, meanwhile, the Ministry also said.

Japan's current account surplus is one of the broadest measure of its trade with the rest of the world.

The data is keenly eyed by the Bank of Japan and the Finance Ministry ahead of new potential policy changes or monetary easing or tapering measures.

In Japan, the current account surplus increases the nation's net foreign assets by the corresponding amount, and a current account deficit does the reverse.

Both the Japanese government and private payments are included in the calculation, and it is called the current account because goods and services are generally consumed in the current period.

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