Japan’s current account surplus expanded in December, buoyed by a trade balance that moved into surplus and spending by a surge of incoming tourists.
The surplus in the current account, the broadest measure of Japan’s trade with the rest of the world, rose fourfold on year to Y960.7 billion, the finance ministry said Monday. That was the 18th consecutive month in the black and was slightly narrower than the Y1.0 trillion surplus forecast by economists surveyed by the Nikkei and The Wall Street Journal.
Japan has marked large current account surpluses in recent months as a weak yen helps boost the value of returns on overseas stock and bond holdings in yen terms. Adding to the surpluses, Japan’s trade balance has improved as lower imported fuel prices bring down the nation’s import bill.
While Japan’s primary income surplus fell 5.1% on year in December to Y1.01 trillion, the amount was the second-largest surplus on record for the month. The trade balance swung to a Y188.7 billion surplus.