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Japan logs record current account deficit
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Jan 14, 2014


Japan's current account deficit in November tripled year-on-year to a record $5.7 billion as a weak yen pushed up the country's post-Fukushima energy bills, official data showed Tuesday.

The shortfall in the current account hit 592.8 billion yen, easily eclipsing a deficit of 179.6 billion yen in the same month a year earlier.

The latest data marked the largest monthly current account deficit based on comparable data stretching back to 1985, blowing past a 455.6 billion yen shortfall in January 2012, according to the finance ministry.

November's deficit largely stemmed from a growing trade imbalance stoked by Japan's heavy dependence on importing pricey fossil fuels to generate electricity, after the country's nuclear reactors were shut down in response to the 2011 tsunami-sparked atomic disaster.

The yen's sharp depreciation since late 2012 has also bloated costs.

The current account is the broadest measure of Japan's trade with the rest of the world, including not only trade in goods but also services, tourism and returns on the country's foreign investment.

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