November 11, 2013 6:39 am

Trade imbalance hits Japan current account

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Japan’s current account dropped into deficit in September for the first time since February, a victim of a deep trade imbalance.

Seasonally adjusted figures from the finance ministry showed trade and investment outflows exceeded inflows by Y125.2bn.

There was some good news, however, as unadjusted figures showed a stronger month-to-month gain than analysts had predicted.

The unadjusted current account balance rose 14.3 per cent from a month earlier to Y587.3bn boosted by rising exports of motor vehicles and an increase in overseas earnings.

Economists polled by Bloomberg had forecast a 10 per cent decline in the current account balance to Y400.8bn.

While the country still imported more goods than it shipped to the rest of the world, the Ministry of Finance singled out the minerals and auto industries for an increase in exports.

Data also showed a jump in investment income, largely due to increased dividend payments and interest earned on bonds.

The current account balance is a broad measure of a country’s trade with the rest of the world.

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