Japan’s current account surplus hits 10-year high

TOKYO — Japan’s current account surplus expanded in 2017 to the highest level since 2007 as earnings from foreign investments moved further into the black, despite rising energy prices pushing up the overall value of the country’s imports, according to a Japanese Ministry of Finance report Marking the largest figure since the 2008 financial crisis, the surplus came to 10.51 trillion yen (US$95 billion) in the January-June period, up 0.3 percent from a year earlier, the Finance Ministry said in its preliminary report. A current account balance is one of the widest gauges of international trade for a nation.

The surplus in the primary income account, which reflects how much Japan earns from its foreign investments, rose 2.2 percent to 9.76 trillion yen.

Japan’s trade surplus narrowed 11.7 percent to 2.05 trillion yen amid rising crude oil imports, however, exports of semiconductor equipment and auto parts grew, in a boost to the trade-reliant economy.

Exports gained 10.1 percent to 37.31 trillion yen in value terms, while imports jumped 11.8 percent to 35.25 trillion yen, the report added.

The travel surplus expanded to 790.3 billion yen, the highest on record for the first half period, from 727.7 billion yen a year ago, as Japan continued to benefit from a surge in the number of foreign visitors to the country.

The service sector, including passenger transportation and cargo shipping, reported a deficit of 297.4 billion yen.

Source: Emirates News Agency