Asia Economy

Japan current account beats view in September

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Japan's current account balance remained in the black for a third straight month in September.

The unadjusted current account surplus rose to 963 billion yen from a surplus of 287.1 billion yen in August, as income from investments overseas bolstered the balance of payments. That was above expectations for a 534.2 billion yen surplus in a Reuters poll.

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"Japan booked a current account surplus again in September, but the base of the surplus is likely to remain narrow despite some improvement," Harumi Taguchi, principal economist at IHS Global Insight said in a note.

Japan's current account surplus was up 61.9 percent on year in September, while the surplus in the primary income component, or income balance, was up 24.5 percent on year.

"[We] maintain our view that the weak trend in Japan's current account will continue. Slack commodity prices and increasing export values, thanks to a weaker yen, will probably support some improvement in the trade balance in the near term. That said, this will not be enough to clear the trade deficit because substantial fuel imports and sluggish external demand are likely to persist," Taguchi said. "A high level of residential foreign asset investment, both for direct and portfolio investment, is likely to maintain the uptrend in the primary income."