Current account surplus grows sixfold in January to ¥607 bil.

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The current account surplus in January jumped sixfold from a year before due mainly to brisk exports to China and other Asian nations, the Finance Ministry said Thursday.

The surplus in the current account, the broadest measure of the country’s earnings from foreign trade and investment, totaled ¥607.4 billion, the ministry said in a preliminary report.

The result beat the median forecast of ¥337.7 billion in surplus in a Jiji Press survey of 20 economic research institutes. January marked the 43rd consecutive month of current account surplus.

Exports to China and other Asian countries expanded as the Lunar New Year holiday period, when industrial activity normally decreases markedly there, was in February this year instead of starting in late January last year.

Japan’s deficit in goods trade dropped 21.6 percent to ¥666.6 billion.

Imports rose 8.1 percent to ¥6,893 billion on the back of higher crude oil prices. But exports grew at a faster pace of 12.7 percent, to ¥6,226.4 billion, reflecting robust shipments of automobiles and semiconductor manufacturing equipment mainly to China.

In services trade, the nation’s deficit shrank 22.2 percent to ¥168.2 billion.

The travel balance, or spending by visitors to Japan minus expenditures by Japanese travelers overseas, posted a record surplus of ¥178.7 billion. The surplus in the balance of royalty payments on intellectual property rights also expanded.Speech

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