— Japan Mar Current Account Surplus Y1.589 Trln
— Japan Mar Current Account MNI Fcast: Y1.481 Trln Surplus

TOKYO (MNI) – Japan posted a current account surplus for a second
straight month in March as exports rose for the first time in six months
thanks to solid demand in North America and Southeast Asia, data
released by the Ministry of Finance showed on Thursday.

The current account surplus stood at Y1.589 trillion in March, down
8.6% from a year earlier, while coming in better than the median
forecast in a MNI survey for a surplus of Y1.481 trillion, or a 14.6%
fall.

Japan logged a record high current account deficit of Y437.3
billion in January amid slowing global demand, the high yen and slower
shipments to China during the Lunar New Year holidays.

The income surplus, the largest component of the current account,
rose 10.1% on the year to Y1.8 trillion in March, marking the 12th
straight y/y rise.

Exports increased 7.3% in March from a year earlier, marking the
first rise in six months, and reversing declines of 2.0% in February and
8.5% in January.

Imports increased 11.9% in March for a 27th straight rise.

The services account — including transport, travel and financial
services — posted a surplus of Y55.4 billion in March, compared with a
surplus of Y30.6 billion a year earlier.

The combined goods and services accounts were in surplus by Y59.6
billion in March, down sharply from a surplus of Y267.5 billion a year
earlier.

In the whole of fiscal 2011, Japan’s current account surplus
totaled Y7.89 trillion, higher than the MNI forecast for a Y7.8 trillion
surplus, but down 52.6% from a year earlier, the first fall in three
years.

It was the smallest surplus in 13 years since Y7.289 trillion
marked in fiscal 1998.

tokyo@marketnews.com
** MNI Tokyo Newsroom: 81-3-5408-4835 **

[TOPICS: M$J$$$,M$A$$$,MAJDS$]