Japan posted a current account surplus of 8,183.5 billion yen in the January to June period, the largest since the second half of 2010, as lower crude oil prices pushed down imports and income increased on the back of a weaker yen, the government said Monday.
The surplus contrasts with a deficit of 497.7 billion yen a year earlier that largely resulted from rising imports of liquefied natural gas and crude oil after the devastating quake and tsunami disaster in March 2011 put nuclear power plants offline.
Japan has relied heavily on energy imports since the disaster crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan. With heightened public concerns about safety, all of the country’s 43 commercial nuclear reactors remain offline.
A current account balance is one of widest gauges of international trade for a nation.
The balance of goods trade marked a deficit of 422.0 billion yen, much smaller than the 6,201.4 billion yen the previous year, as exports increased 5.9 percent while imports fell 8.8 percent from the previous year, the Finance Ministry said.