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Current account surplus shrinks 23%

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The nation’s current account surplus in August shrank 23.4 percent from a year earlier as the country had a deficit in goods trade due to higher oil prices, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report on Tuesday.

The surplus in the current account, the broadest measure of Japan’s trade with the rest of the world, totaled ¥1,838.4 billion, smaller than the median forecast of ¥1,896.6 billion in a Jiji Press poll of 19 economic research institutes.

The current account balance was in surplus for the 50th consecutive month.

In goods trade, the country had a deficit of ¥219.3 billion, marking two consecutive months of red ink, after a surplus of ¥334.6 billion a year before.

Exports rose 7.6 percent to ¥6,652.6 billion, reflecting brisk shipments of automobiles and semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

Imports jumped 17.5 percent to ¥6,871.9 billion due to higher prices for crude and raw oil imports.

In services trade, including travel and transportation, Japan posted a deficit of ¥6.1 billion, against the year-before surplus of ¥17.7 billion.

The surplus in the travel account hit its highest level for August, at ¥123 billion. But the deficit in the transportation account expanded.

The surplus in the primary income account, covering cross-border dividend and interest payments, grew 1.8 percent to ¥2,289.1 billion thanks chiefly to higher gains from reinvestment.Speech

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