Japan Posts Current Account Surplus as Trade Turns Positive

Japan recorded a 36th consecutive current account surplus in June,  supported by returns on overseas investments and a trade balance that returned to positive territory.

Highlights

  • The current account surplus was 934.6 billion yen ($8.44 billion), versus an estimate of 860.5 billion yen.
  • The primary income surplus was 507.2 billion yen.
  • The surplus in goods trade was 518.5 billion yen, compared with an estimate 571.5 billion yen.

Key Takeaways

The return of a trade surplus after a deficit in May supported the current account. The benefits from Japan’s overseas investments, shown as the primary income surplus, anchored the account, but Japanese companies paying dividends overseas in June did somewhat reduce the primary income surplus during the month. On the trade front, Japan has vowed to fight protectionism, and reached a preliminary trade agreement with the European Union in July.

Economist Takeaways

  • "Japan’s current account is likely to remain in surplus, thanks to a solid global recovery," said Masamichi Adachi, senior economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. "Japanese companies are getting returns from their subsidiaries overseas and exports are rising." 
  • "Today’s data adds to evidence that Japan’s economy is in a good position as the recovery continues," Adachi said.

— With assistance by Toru Fujioka

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