Japan's current account surplus shrinks in August

Japan's current-account surplus shrank in August for the first time in six months as the trade balance turned to a deficit. The current-account figure indicates the country's trade and investment with the rest of the world.

The Finance Ministry says the surplus stood at 1.66 trillion yen, or about 14.9 billion dollars. That's down 20.1 percent from a year earlier.

The trade deficit came to 372.4 billion yen, or 3.3 billion dollars. It was the first red ink in seven months.

Auto exports to the US, Europe and China weakened due to a resurgence of coronavirus cases in Southeast Asia. This disrupted supply chains for car parts and assembly. Higher import costs caused by a rise in crude oil prices also weighed on the figure.
The travel account surplus remained low at 14.6 billion yen, or 130 million dollars. That was a year-on-year drop of 25.6 percent.

The primary income balance, which includes income from securities investment overseas, was in the black by 2.42 trillion yen, or about 21.6 billion dollars, mainly due to higher stock prices.