Japan posts first current account surplus in 3 months

Japan’s current account balance was in the black for the first time in 3 months in February, but its surplus shrank more than 40 percent from a year earlier, as higher energy prices contributed to a trade deficit.

The Finance Ministry’s preliminary data showed the surplus totaled 1.65 trillion yen, or about 13 billion dollars. The current account is a key gauge of Japan’s trade and investment with the rest of the world.

The trade deficit stood at 177 billion yen or 1.4 billion dollars, due to higher import costs of crude oil and liquefied natural gas.

The primary income surplus, which shows interest and dividends from overseas security investments, widened from January to 2.27 trillion yen or about 18 billion dollars.
Interest payments from US Treasuries were the main factor.

Some economists fear Japan’s current account surplus might shrink further due to higher prices of crude oil after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.