Current account surplus down 5.6% in Nov.

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The nation’s current account surplus in November fell 5.6 percent from a year before as imports grew at a faster pace than exports due partly to higher crude oil prices, the Finance Ministry said Friday.

The surplus in the current account, the broadest measure of international trade in an economy, totaled ¥1,347.3 billion, the ministry said in a preliminary report.

Japan marked the 41st straight month of current account surplus.

The surplus in goods trade tumbled 46.8 percent to ¥181 billion.

Exports climbed 13.9 percent to ¥6,768.3 billion, led by shipments of chipmaking equipment and automobiles. Imports rose faster, by 17.6 percent to ¥6,587.3 billion, amid surging purchases of Chinese smartphones in addition to high oil prices.

In services trade, Japan’s surplus shrank by ¥21.8 billion to ¥41.7 billion due mainly to a deficit related to research and development expenses. But the surplus in the travel account climbed to a monthly high of ¥148.5 billion.

The surplus in the primary income account, which covers earnings from overseas investments, expanded 10.4 percent to ¥1,329.8 billion. Japan’s holdings of U.S. Treasury debts and other overseas assets expanded, leading to higher interest income thanks to the yen’s weakness.Speech

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