Japan posts smallest current account surplus for July on record

Japan's current account balance has gone into the black for the first time in two months, but surging energy prices made it the smallest surplus for July on record.

Finance Ministry officials released preliminary numbers that show July's current account surplus stood at 229 billion yen, or about 1.6 billion dollars. The figure is a measure of trade and investment with the rest of the world.

The number was down 86.6 percent from last year, making it the smallest for the month in yen terms since 1985, when comparable data became available.

Soaring crude oil and energy prices weighed on the figure, as did the rapid weakening of the yen.

Japan logged a trade deficit of 1.21 trillion yen or about 8.4 billion dollars, the largest for the month of July in yen terms since comparable data was available in 1996.

The surplus of primary income that shows interest and dividends from investments in overseas securities was up to 2.43 trillion yen, or roughly 16.9 billion dollars. A weaker yen increased the value of dividends from overseas subsidiaries.