Japan’s current account surplus expanded more than threefold in July from a year earlier to ¥2.77 trillion ($19 billion), a record for the month, boosted by declining crude oil prices that helped reduce imports, government data showed Friday.
The current account balance, one of the widest gauges of international trade, remained in the black for the sixth straight month, also lifted by an increase in foreign visitors to the country, according to the Finance Ministry.
Japan posted a goods trade surplus of ¥68.2 billion, a turnaround from the hefty ¥1.18 trillion deficit a year earlier, as imports shrank 13.3% to ¥8.49 trillion amid declining crude oil and other fuel prices.
Exports dipped 0.6% to ¥8.56 trillion, partly affected by declining shipments of semiconductor-making equipment.
Primary income, which reflects returns on overseas investments, posted a surplus of ¥3.58 trillion, up 15.7%, boosted by securities investments earnings, the ministry said.
Japan’s travel surplus came to ¥336.8 billion, the biggest for July since comparable data became available in 1996. A travel surplus means the amount of money spent by foreign visitors to Japan exceeds that spent by Japanese abroad.
The number of foreign visitors has been increasing, with Japan seeing a revival of inbound tourism in recent months following the easing of COVID-related border control measures.
Japan’s services trade deficit shrank 34.2% to ¥535.5 billion.