Japan current account returns to surplus in February

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Tokyo, Japan (4E) – The current account in Japan swung back to surplus in February from the previous month’s record deficit as income from overseas investments offset trade and services deficits.

The world’s third-largest economy posted a current account surplus of 612.7bn yen in February, according to the Ministry of Finance data released Tuesday, turning positive after deficits of four consecutive months.

The headline figure was slightly below estimates for a 618.1bn yen surplus after the 1.589tn yen shortage in January.

The trade balance recorded a 533.4bn yen deficit, surpassing forecast for a 593.6bn yen shortfall after the previous month’s 2.345tn yen deficit.

On an annual basis, exports grew 15.7 percent to 5.941tn yen after January’s 5.516tn yen. Imports jumped 14.1 percent to 6.474tn yen on year after coming in at 7.862tn yen in January.

The current account deficit was 41.7bn yen on an adjusted basis, short of forecasts for a 24.7bn yen surplus after a deficit of 588.3bn yen in January. The current account deficit was 1.431tn yen in the final three months of 2013.

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