Japan posts record current account deficit in January

08 March 2012 04:06  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan reported a record current account deficit of yen (Y) 437.3bn ($5.39bn) in January this year as imports grew faster than exports, figures from the Ministry of Finance showed on Thursday.

The current account measures an economy’s trade in goods, services, tourism and investment with the rest of the world.

The country’s exports rose by 2.9% to Y4,354bn in January, while imports grew by 15.7% to Y5,735bn, the ministry said in a statement.

This resulted in a trade deficit of Y1,382bn compared with a deficit of Y399.4bn in January 2011, according to the ministry.

Japan’s exports in January declined in the wake of the Lunar New Year holiday amid higher energy imports, following a few nuclear plant shutdowns in the country, according to media reports.

Japan is likely to post another trade deficit in February, with exports falling by 7.7% year on year to Y3,528bn in the first 20 days of the month and imports up by 6.8% to Y3,597bn, according to preliminary figures posted in the statement.

Japan’s economy shrank less than initially estimated in the three months to 31 December last year in line with an upward revision to its overall capital expenditure, the country’s cabinet office said on Thursday.

Japan’s GDP shrank by an annualised 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with the initial estimate of a 2.3% annualised contraction, the cabinet office added.

($1 = Y81.2)

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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