February 10,2020

Balance of Payment Japan

Japan continues to enjoy a large-sized current account surplus, with no apparent re balancing mechanism.

Published monthly by the Ministry of Finance. Updated till the month of December2019 (published on February 12th, 2020).

Recent data trend

Japan's current account surplus in October 2019 was 1732 billion yen after a seasonal adjustment, up from 1485 billion yen in September 2019. As a percentage of GDP, the annualized ratio for October was 3.7% to GDP. Japan nowadays earns the bulk of its current account surplus from its income balance, the net revenue from its investment abroad. In contrast, Japan's trade surplus has diminished over the last 2 decades to the point that Japan barely has any trade surplus at all. The reasons ...

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Brief overview of “Balance of payment”:

The balance of payment statistics makes an account for all the flow of funds across Japan’s border. In these statistics, financial flows are divided into two large categories. One category is called capital and financial account. Financial transactions that lead to transfers of assets/liabilities are included in the capital and financial account. The other category, known as current account, includes other transactions such as trades of goods and services, payment of interest and dividends and transfers such as international aids.
Japan has consistently recorded a surplus in its current account since 1981. The surplus consisted mostly of trade account surplus until the mid-2000s. In recent years, the income account surplus has increasingly become a dominant source of the surplus, while Japan’s trade surplus diminished, even falling to a deficit between 2011 to 2015. While the fall in energy prices helped return the trade balance back to surplus in 2016, it is uncertain if the trade surplus would persist. 
For more information visit the official government website.

Balance of Payment (Annual data, 1970-2016)

Note: The Japanese government publishes its Balance of Payment (BoP) statistics following BPM6 (Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual, 6th edition) going back to 1996. The BoP statistics we (JMA) show here for 1985-1995 are based on BPM5. The YoY change and YoY% growth we show here for 1996 is also based on BPM5, as the BPM6-based BoP statistics is available for 1996, but not for 1995. For 1970-85 the Japanese government has published the Balance of Payment Statistic in the USD denomination. We have converted it to Japanese Yen using average USD/JPY exchange rate for each year, except for 1970-72 for which we used end of the year USD/JPY exchange rates. 

Source: MoF, JMA

The Next Release Date: March 9th, 2020.

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