Japan Returns to Surplus in Current Account

Japan’s current account balance shifted to a surplus in February for the first time in five months but economists warn of a return to deficits as exports to emerging markets remain weak.

The surplus stood at 612.7 billion yen, slightly less than the median estimate for a 628.0 billion yen surplus, Ministry of Finance data showed, and marked a turnaround from a record deficit of 1.6 trillion yen in the previous month.

The surplus should be welcome news for policymakers as a recent string of deficits had thrown the spotlight back on Tokyo’s ability to service its huge debt.

Still, analysts don’t expect a sustained improvement in the current account balance as Japan continues to import more gas and oil to make up for the closure of its nuclear power industry after the March 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster.

Moreover, income from exports has been crimped as many manufacturers have moved factories overseas in recent years.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza