Japan November current account surplus rises 29pct, up for third month

13-Jan-2021 Intellasia | JapanTimes | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The country’s current account surplus for November rose 29.0 percent from a year earlier, up for the third straight month, on a sharp decline in imports with continued falls in energy resource prices, government data showed Tuesday.

The current account balance, one of the widest gauges of international trade, registered a surplus of JPY 1.88 trillion ($18 billion), staying in the black for the 77th consecutive month, the finance ministry said in a preliminary report.

In the reporting month, the country’s goods trade balance came to a surplus of JPY 616.1 billion, up from a JPY 20.0 billion deficit in the previous year, logging black ink for the fifth consecutive month.

Imports decreased 13.6 percent to JPY 5.42 trillion due to falling prices of crude oil and liquefied natural gas, while exports slid 3.4 percent to JPY 6.04 trillion as demand for mineral fuels and steel was dampened.

November saw a bigger growth of the current account surplus than the 15.7 percent increase in October and 3.6 percent climb in September, as economic activity resumed after the government in late May completely lifted its first state of emergency over the virus, declared in early April.

The figure had posted year-on-year decreases for six months in a row until August, including an 89.6 percent plunge in June.

Among other key components, the services trade balance in November marked a deficit of JPY 181.6 billion compared with a surplus of JPY 176.9 billion a year before, largely affected by the continued drop in the travel balance surplus as strict travel restrictions to curb the virus spread remained across the world.

The travel balance reflects the amount of money foreign visitors spend in Japan versus Japanese spending abroad. It saw a JPY 27.6 billion surplus in November, down 87.9 percent from JPY 228.0 billion a year earlier.

Primary income, reflecting the net flow of profits, interest and dividends from investments in other countries, marked a surplus of JPY 1.72 trillion, up 17.8%, helped by an increase in bond interest received by investors in Japan.

In November, Japan saw the start of a third wave of virus infections with daily numbers of cases continuing to rewrite record levels.

Prime minister Yoshihide Suga on Thursday declared another state of emergency in the Tokyo metropolitan area effective from the following day to February 7, raising uncertainty over the economic outlook.

The declaration requests residents to stay home and service providers such as restaurants, department stores and entertainment facilities to shorten their operating hours.

Japan is set to expand the declaration later this week to Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures, according to government and ruling party sources.



Category: Japan

Print This Post

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.