Japan posted a current account surplus of 833.4 billion yen in October for the fourth straight month of black ink, as income from foreign investment soared to a record high for the month, outweighing a huge trade deficit, the government said Monday.
Exports surged 11.2 percent from a year earlier to 6,566.9 billion yen with car shipments growing, while imports rose 7.4 percent to 7,333.5 billion yen due partly to rising purchases of communication devices from other nations, bringing the goods trade deficit to 766.6 billion yen, the Finance Ministry said.
The surplus in the primary income account, which reflects how much Japan earns from its foreign investments, jumped 48.3 percent to 2,018.6 billion yen, up for the fourth consecutive month, with the yen’s slide helping increase dividends from foreign direct investment, the ministry said in a preliminary report.
The income surplus was the largest for October since comparative data become available in 1985, it said.
Japan’s current account surplus is expected to widen as a recent downturn in global oil prices may ease the negative impact of energy import expansion triggered by the suspension of nuclear power generation following the March 2011 Fukushima emergency, some analysts said.
The country’s crude oil import costs were down 10.8 percent from the previous year in October, as average oil prices fell 11.3 percent to $100.7 per barrel, the Finance Ministry said.