Economic news

Japan Dec Current Account Surplus Climbs, Misses Estimates

TOKYO, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Japan's current account surplus grew for an eleventh straight month in December as the trade balance swung to a surplus, Ministry of Finance data showed on Thursday, in an encouraging sign for the trade-reliant economy.

The current account surplus stood at 744.3 billion yen ($5.0 billion) in December, compared with a median forecast from economists for a surplus of 1.02 trillion yen in a Reuters poll.

Exports grew 9.4% year-on-year in December driven by demand for cars, ships and car parts, while imports fell 5.4% on weaker domestic demand.

Primary income gains, or returns from past direct investment and portfolio investment overseas, saw Japan log a primary income surplus of 1.26 trillion yen.

For the whole of 2023, Japan logged a current account surplus worth 20.6 trillion yen. The trade deficit was 5.6 trillion yen which was more than offset by primary income gains of 34.6 trillion yen.

The current account surplus was more than double the size of of the previous year. It also exceeded 20 trillion yen for the first time in two years, helped in part as the trade deficit narrowed by 9.1 trillion yen.

($1 = 148.0500 yen)

Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; additional reporting by Takaya Yamaguchi; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

Source: Reuters

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