Japan sees 3.63 bln dollars current account surplus in November

TOKYO, Jan 13 (PNA/Xinhua) — Japan posted a current account surplus of 433.0 billion yen (3.63 billion U.S. dollars) in November 2014, marking the fifth consecutive month in black ink, government data showed Tuesday.

According to the Finance Ministry, exports in the period were up 10.8 percent on year to 6,322.1 billion yen thanks to a weaker yen, but imports rose only 2.2 percent to 6,959.0 billion yen, bringing the goods trade deficit to 636.8 billion yen, down 42.4 percent from a year earlier.

The ministry believed that a downturn in crude oil prices slowed imports. In November, crude oil imports plunged 21.6 percent as average oil prices fell 19.4 percent to 90.82 dollars per barrel during the month.

Meanwhile, the surplus in the primary income account, which reflects how much Japan earns from its foreign investments, jumped 44.4 percent to 1,276.0 billion yen, marking the fifth straight monthly rise and hitting the highest level since comparative data became available in 1985.

The services sector, including passenger transportation and cargo shipping, marked a deficit of 106.3 billion yen. However, the travel balance of payments improved to a surplus of 11.8 billion yen as the number of foreign travelers arriving in Japan soared 39.1 percent from a year before to 1.17 million, the biggest for the month. (PNA/Xinhua)