Japan's May current account surplus hits record high

Japan's Finance Ministry says the country's current account surplus for May hit a record high for that month.

The gain comes as higher interest rates overseas and the weak yen pushed up the income companies earn from foreign bond holdings.

The surplus stood at 2.85 trillion yen, or 17.7 billion dollars. That's up more than 41 percent on year and the highest for May since 1985 when comparable data became available. Japan has now logged a surplus for 16 straight months.

The primary income surplus came in at 4.2 trillion yen, or about 26 billion dollars, a record high for any month.

This figure includes dividends Japanese businesses receive from overseas subsidiaries, as well as interest income on bonds.

The trade deficit shrunk to 6.9 billion dollars, thanks to strong exports of automobiles and semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

The services balance posted a surplus of 14 million dollars to move into the black for the first time in two months.

This reflects a gain in the travel account on the back of a surge in tourists visiting Japan.