Japan posts ¥3.5 tril. in current account surplus in Jan.-June

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Finance Ministry’s headquarters building in Tokyo.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s current account surplus in January-June narrowed 63.1% from a year before to ¥3,505.7 billion, the smallest since 2014 on a first-half basis, the Ministry of Finance said Monday.

The surplus in the current account, the broadest measure of trade, dropped by ¥6,002.1 billion, the second-biggest amount on a half-year basis after the fall recorded in the latter half of 2008 on the heels of the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers.

In the first half of this year, the current account surplus plunged as the country posted a deficit of ¥5,668.8 billion in goods trade, against the year-before surplus of ¥2,282.3 billion, due to the yen’s drop and soring crude oil prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Exports rose 18.2% to ¥46,407.9 billion, led by brisk shipments of steel products and electronic components. Imports shot up 40.8% to ¥52,076.7 billion reflecting higher prices of crude oil and coal.

Both exports and imports were the highest since comparable data became available in 1996.

The surplus on the primary income account expanded 22.4% to ¥12,872.8 billion, the largest on a half-year basis since comparable data became available in 1985, thanks to growth in dividends companies received from their overseas subsidiaries amid the yen’s depreciation.

In June alone, the country logged a current account deficit of ¥132.4 billion, compared with a surplus of ¥739.6 billion a year before, marking the first red ink in five months.