Japan posted a record current account deficit in November, the government said Tuesday, underscoring the country’s strength to earn money from abroad has been flagging with growing demand for energy at home and the yen’s slide driving up import costs despite an expansion in exports.
The deficit in the balance, one of the widest gauges of international trade for a nation, stood at 592.8 billion yen ($5.74 billion), the biggest among comparable data available since 1985, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report.
The figure was much larger than the previous record of 455.6 billion yen marked in January 2012, the ministry said.
The cumulative current account surplus for 11 months since January last year has reached around only 4,000 billion yen, suggesting the total surplus in 2013 is certain to be below the past record of 4,823.7 billion yen in 2012.
The country’s current account balance fell into the red for the second straight month in November, as the balance of goods trade came to a deficit of 1,254.3 billion yen, a ministry official said.
During the month, imports grew 22.1 percent from a year earlier to 6,885.9 billion yen against a backdrop of rising imports of crude oil, while exports climbed 17.6 percent to 5,631.6 billion yen on the back of the yen’s depreciation, the ministry said.