Japan’s current account surplus shrank 20.1 percent to 1.67 trillion yen (15 billion US dollars) in August year-on-year, as higher energy import costs led to a deficit in trade, the finance ministry said Friday.
The surplus logged the first year-on-year decrease in six months.
In August, imports rose more than exports in value terms with a deficit of 372.4 billion yen, the first time in seven months.
Crude oil imports increased approximately 2.2 times in value to 369.5 billion yen, while total imports jumped 45.9 percent to 6.89 trillion yen.
Exports rose 27.1 percent to 6.51 trillion yen with increasing shipments of steel and semiconductor-manufacturing equipment.
The ministry said that car shipments to the United States, China and the European Union declined from a year ago. The impact of supply chain disruptions due to surging coronavirus cases in Southeast Asia began to appear in the reporting month, and automakers have been forced to cut production.
Japan’s primary income stood at 2.43 trillion yen, rising 7.6 percent, boosted by higher returns on overseas investments such as investment trusts.
The service balance rose sharply to a deficit of 194.9 billion yen from 326.2 billion yen in the red a year earlier with an increase of royalty payments by overseas companies to Japanese firms.
Japan’s travel surplus fell 25.6 percent to 14.6 billion yen. Although the number of foreign visitors to Japan increased from a year earlier, it was only 25,900 under travel restrictions. (1 US dollar equals 111.90 Japanese yen)