Japan’s current-account surplus shrinks for first time in 7 years

May 13th, 2009 - 10:47 am ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, May 13 (DPA) Japan’s current-account surplus narrowed for the first time in seven years for the year ending March 31, after the global economic downturn caused sharp decline in exports, the Finance Ministry said Wednesday.
The current account shows the gap between a country’s income from foreign sources and foreign obligations payable, excluding net capital investment.

The current account surplus fell 50.2 percent year-on-year in fiscal 2008, to 12.23 trillion yen ($125.95 billion), the largest drop recorded since 1985, the ministry said in a preliminary report.

Goods and services trade marked a deficit of 1 trillion yen against a surplus of 9.1 trillion yen the year before.

The surplus in goods plunged 90 percent to 1.17 trillion yen. Exports dropped a record 16.3 percent to 67.72 trillion yen, and imports also dipped 3.9 percent to 66.55 trillion yen in fiscal 2008.

Services trade narrowed a deficit to 2.17 trillion yen from 2.6 trillion yen.

In March alone, the current-account surplus shrank 48.8 percent from the same month a year before to 1.49 trillion yen.

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