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Current account surplus down 15.8%

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — The nation’s current account surplus in May fell 15.8 percent from a year before to ¥1.59 trillion, partly because of slower exports to China, data from the Finance Ministry showed on Monday.

The current account balance, the broadest measure of Japan’s trade and investment with the rest of the world, was in the black for 59 months in a row, according to the preliminary balance of payments data.

The result compared with a median forecast of a ¥1.38 trillion surplus among 18 economic research institutes surveyed by Jiji Press.

The reduced current account surplus came as Japan’s trade deficit expanded to ¥650.9 billion from the year-before level of ¥315.8 billion due to a decrease in exports of chipmaking equipment and auto parts mainly to China.

Exports dropped 6.3 percent to ¥5.92 trillion, down for the sixth consecutive month, apparently affected by a slowdown of China’s economy reflecting its escalating trade tensions with the United States. Japan’s imports inched down 0.9 percent to ¥6.57 trillion.

The surplus on the primary income account, which covers, among other things, Japanese firms’ dividend and interest receipts from abroad, fell 5.9 percent to ¥2.26 trillion.

Meanwhile, Japan’s services trade surplus increased by ¥126.9 billion to ¥137.2 billion, the largest for May, partly on the back of a 3.7 percent rise in the number of foreign visitors to the country.Speech

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