Japan Logs ¥2.2 Trillion Current Account Surplus in February Due to Export Rise

REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/File Photo
A Japan yen note is seen in this illustration photo taken June 1, 2017.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan swung to a current account surplus of ¥2,197.2 billion in February, buoyed by higher exports to China after the Lunar New Year holiday period, government data showed Monday.

The surplus, smaller than the median forecast of ¥2,556.7 billion among the 17 economic research institutes surveyed by Jiji Press, followed a record deficit of ¥1,989.3 billion in the previous month.

Compared with a year before, however, the surplus shrank 2.3% as the trade balance stayed in the red.

Japan logged a goods and services trade deficit of ¥824.5 billion against the year-before deficit of ¥407.4 billion, the Finance Ministry said in the preliminary balance of payments report.

In goods trade, Japan’s deficit expanded to ¥604.1 billion from ¥194.9 billion amid the yen’s weakening. But the February amount was far smaller than a deficit of over ¥3 trillion in January.

Exports were up 4.5% at ¥7,644.3 billion. Imports rose 9.8% to ¥8,248.4 billion reflecting vigorous imports of coal and liquefied natural gas.

In services trade, including transportation and travel, Japan logged a deficit of ¥220.4 billion.

Consulting fee payments to overseas entities grew, while an increase in visitors from abroad pushed up the travel surplus to ¥223.9 billion from ¥14 billion.

The surplus on the primary income account expanded 18.6% to ¥3,440.7 billion, hitting a record high for February thanks to the yen’s depreciation and increased interest revenue from bonds stemming from higher interest rates overseas.