Japan posts record April current account surplus

Japan has logged its biggest-ever current-account surplus for the month of April. The record was set as rising overseas interest rates and the weak yen pushed up the interest income companies earn on their bond holdings.

The Finance Ministry said on Monday that the surplus was 2.05 trillion yen, or about 13 billion dollars. That is the most for any April since 1985, when comparable data became available.

April also marked the 15th straight month of surplus.

The current account is an important measure of the country's trade and investment with the rest of the world.

Primary income grew by more than 800 billion yen from the same month last year to more than 3.8 trillion yen, or roughly 24 billion dollars.

It includes dividends that Japanese businesses received from overseas subsidiaries, as well as interest income on bonds.

The travel account was in surplus to the tune of 446.7 billion yen or about 2.8 billion dollars, on the back of increasing numbers of foreign tourists. It was the largest amount in yen terms since records began in 1996.

Meanwhile, the trade deficit expanded by more than 3.2 billion dollars from a year earlier to 661.5 billion yen, or 4.2 billion dollars. Higher crude-oil prices drove up the value of imports.