Japan's current account surplus nearly doubled in 2023

Japan's current account surplus nearly doubled in 2023 from the previous year. This comes as recent surges in energy prices hit a pause, pushing down the value of imports.

The Finance Ministry says the current account surplus stood at 20.6 trillion yen, or roughly 139 billion dollars. The account is a gauge of the country's trade and investment with the rest of the world.

The trade balance was about 45 billion dollars in the red, but the deficit decreased by 61 billion dollars. Auto exports rose due to an easing of semiconductor supply shortages.

The primary income surplus was a record 34.5 trillion yen, or 233 billion dollars. That includes dividends and interest Japanese companies received from their overseas subsidiaries. The increase came after a rise in interest rates on foreign bonds.