World Economy

Japan Current Account Surplus Widens

Goods trade saw a surplus of 821 billion yen, up 59.8%.Goods trade saw a surplus of 821 billion yen, up 59.8%.

The country’s current account, one of the widest measures of international trade, was 10.84 trillion yen ($97 billion) in the black, the margin rising 2.1% from a year earlier despite a smaller goods trade surplus and a deficit in services trade, Kyodo reported.

The data showed the surplus in primary income, which reflects returns from foreign investments, surged to 10.53 trillion yen as companies raked in dividends from overseas subsidiaries.

Among key components, goods trade came to a surplus of 1.82 trillion yen, down 11.2% as rising oil prices pushed up the cost of energy imports. That outpaced an increase in exports of cars to the United States and manufacturing equipment to China, according to a preliminary report released by the finance ministry.

Services trade fell further into the red with a deficit of 422 billion yen as companies moved their research and development overseas, even as an influx of tourists from abroad pushed the travel surplus to a record high on a half-year basis.

For the month of June, Japan reported a current account surplus of 1.18 trillion yen, marking the 48th straight month of black ink.

Goods trade saw a surplus of 821 billion yen, up 59.8% as energy imports dipped in volume. Services trade logged a deficit of 175 billion yen, while primary income registered a surplus of 588 billion yen.

Meanwhile, Bank of Japan policymakers disagreed over the likelihood of inflation picking up and the appropriate direction for monetary stimulus at their July meeting, a summary of their opinions showed Wednesday.

At the meeting, the central bank’s policy board decided to increase the sustainability of its easing measures by allowing long-term yields to rise higher and making its asset purchases more flexible.

The summary of opinions shows several board members saying that inflation was weaker than expected but would gradually gain momentum toward the BoJ’s target.

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