Japan’s Current Account Surplus Falls Sharply

Japan’s current-account surplus unexpectedly shrank to a record low for an August, underscoring drags on the economy as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tries to drive an exit from 15 years of deflation.

The surplus fell 64 percent from a year earlier to 161.5 billion yen ($1.7 billion), as overseas income dropped for the first time in nine months and imports exceeded exports, a Ministry of Finance report showed in Tokyo. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 27 economists was for a 520 billion yen surplus.

Higher import costs are one of the side-effects of Abenomics, a package of policies that has weakened the yen and is intended to drive an economic revival. The next phase of the prime minister’s growth strategy will be the focus of a Diet session due to begin next week.


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