By Tetsushi Kajimoto
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan logged the largest current account surplus for the month of November, driven by a record rise in primary income gains from returns on Japanese overseas investment, Ministry of Finance data showed on Thursday.
The primary income surplus, an easing of trade deficits and the weak yen combined to bring Japan’s current account surplus to 1.8 trillion yen ($13.65 billion) in November, the highest ever for that month, the data showed.
That was more than three times the median forecast by economists for a surplus of 471.1 billion yen in a Reuters poll, with the hefty returns from portfolio investment and direct investment overseas more than offsetting persisting trade deficits.
The country’s current account surplus has long been regarded as a sign of export might and a source of confidence in the safe-haven yen, but the account has occasionally fallen into deficit on a monthly basis in recent years.
Japan’s trade surplus has been on a steady decline since the 2007-2008 global financial crisis, turning the country’s economy into one led by investment abroad.
($1 = 131.8900 yen)