Japan Logs Largest April Current Account Surplus

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

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan posted ¥2,050.5 billion in current account surplus in April, up 8.2% year on year and the largest for the month since comparable statistics became available in 1985, Finance Ministry data showed Monday.

The result reflected a surge in the surplus at the primary income account, which covers dividend and interest receipts from abroad, according to the preliminary balance of payments data. The country logged a current account surplus for the 15th straight month.

The April surplus exceeded the median forecast of ¥1,737.6 billion in surplus in a Jiji Press poll of 17 economic research institutes.

In goods trade, Japan’s deficit expanded to ¥661.5 billion from the year-before level of ¥149.2 billion . Exports increased 2.4% to ¥8,428.2 billion thanks to growth in shipments of automobiles and semiconductor-manufacturing equipment. Imports were up 8.5% at ¥9,089.7 billion due in part to a rise in crude oil prices.

The surplus at the primary income account soared 26.7% to ¥3,832.8 billion , the largest for April, thanks to rises in interest income on foreign bonds amid higher interest rates and in the yen value of dividends paid in foreign currencies because of the depreciation of the Japanese currency.

Japan saw its services trade deficit expand to ¥721.5 billion from ¥557.8 billion . While the travel account fared well on the back of a rise in the number of visitors to Japan, payments increased for business services, including those for research and development and management consulting.