Japan posts current account surplus in February

Japan posted its first current account surplus in four months in February, reflecting narrower trade deficits and robust income receipts from investments overseas, according to the latest government data.

The current account balance, the broadest measure of the nation's trade with the rest of the world covering trade in goods, services, tourism and investment, logged a surplus of 637.4 billion yen ($6.5 billion) in February.

The monthly surplus nearly halved from the year-before surplus of 1.2 trillion yen but reversed the deficit of 364.8 billion yen in January, data from the finance ministry showed.

February's figure was bigger than an average surplus of 448.8 billion yen expected by economists, according to polls by Dow Jones Newswires and the Nikkei business daily.

The figure was affected by the Lunar New Year holiday in China, which reduced Chinese exports to Japan, and Tokyo's trade deficit as a result.

Japan logged a deficit of 677.0 billion yen in February goods trade, smaller than the shortfall of 1.48 trillion yen registered in January, but economists say the overall surplus was still driven by income from overseas investments.

They expect Japan's current and trade balances to improve going forward, as a sharply weaker yen is expected to make Japanese exports more competitive, while also inflating the value of income Japan receives from its investments overseas when repatriated.

A negative side of the weaker yen is that it makes Japan's import bills higher.

Japan's energy imports have increased due to stalled domestic nuclear plants after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami sparked the Fukushima atomic accident.

-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this article --

  • Custom faux-tique electric tram aims to replace New York's horses over the neigh-sayers 33 minutes ago
    Custom faux-tique electric tram aims to replace New York's horses over the neigh-sayers

    For the record, it's the year 2014. I mention that in case someone reading this story about a push to replace horses with motorized carriages thinks they've stumbled onto some archival piece by accident. It's been more than 100 years since the first vehicles began to trundle around Manhattan, but the last remaining vestiges of horse-powered transport in the city could be nigh — if the backers of a massive electric wagon get their way.

  • Can home remedies cure jock itch and athlete’s foot? 3 hours ago
    Can home remedies cure jock itch and athlete’s foot?

    Contrary to its name, a ringworm infection is not caused by a worm but by a fungus. It can be contagious and is often characterised by a red circular rash with clearer skin in the middle. Offering tips about what … Continue reading →

  • 2015 Acura TLX blends two sedans into one alphabet soup 5 hours ago
    2015 Acura TLX blends two sedans into one alphabet soup

    Nearly three decades have passed since Honda gave us the car we didn’t know we wanted: a fancified Accord called the Legend, which Honda sold under a newly created luxury brand called Acura. Acura, along with the Lexus and Infiniti brands that followed, proceeded to turn the luxury market on its nose. But since then, everyone from Hyundai to Bentley has stepped up its luxury game while Acura got a bit lost in ubiquity with a cadre of similar-looking products, all with confusing alphabet soup names like ILX, TSX, TL and RLX.

  • ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says
    ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The “huge” statues at a Hindu temple in Batu Caves and Buddhist temple in Penang are an affront to Islam as the religion forbids idolatry, a retired Court of Appeals judge...

  • Singaporeans slam NEA's $120 licence requirement for tissue sellers
    Singaporeans slam NEA's $120 licence requirement for tissue sellers

    Singaporeans on social media reacted angrily to news that tissue sellers at hawker centres and street corners are being required to pay for an annual licence.

  • Over 280 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes
    Over 280 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

    By Narae Kim JINDO South Korea (Reuters) - More than 280 people, many of them students from the same high school, were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea on Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years. It was not immediately clear why the Sewol ferry listed heavily on to its side and capsized in apparently calm conditions off South Korea's southwest coast, but some survivors spoke of a loud noise prior to the disaster.