Japan logs first current account deficit in 13 years

March 9th, 2009 - 2:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, March 9 (Xinhua) Japan logged its first current account deficit in 13 years in January of 172.8 billion yen ($1.8 billion), the Finance Ministry data showed Monday.
It was the first current account deficit since January 1996 and the largest since comparable data became available in January 1985, the government said.

Exports dived 46.3 percent from a year earlier to 3.282 trillion yen ($33.8 billion), down for the fourth consecutive month.

Imports tumbled 31.7 percent to 4.127 trillion yen ($42.54 billion), down for the third straight month as the crude oil price plunged, the ministry said.

The balance of trade in goods and services posted a deficit of 1,100.2 billion yen ($11.3 billion), while the deficit in merchandise trade totaled 844.4 billion yen ($8.7 billion).

The current account balance - the broad gauge of trade - is the difference between a country’s income from foreign sources and foreign obligations payable, excluding net capital investment.

Japan historically holds a large current account surplus thanks to the brisk export of electronic, cars and other products. The economic crisis has dragged the country into the worst post-bubble economy slowdown.

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