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Economy in Brief

Japan's Current Account Balances by Region
by Louise Curley February 19, 2008

Japan reported a record current account surplus of 250,012 100 million yen or about $215 billion for the year 2007 about a week ago. The current account balance for the past 12 years is shown in the first chart.

Today Japan reported the breakdown of the current account surplus by region for the third quarter of the year. Japan continues to run its largest surplus on current account with the United States, however, it's surplus with Western Europe appears to be growing faster than that of the U.S. as can be seen in the second chart. This chart also shows Japan's current account surplus with Central/South America, which shows a small upward trend.

Japan has traditionally run a deficit with China, Indonesia and the Middle East. The deficits with the Indonesia and the Middle East are largely the as a result of Japan's dependence on imported oil. These deficits have increased sharply with the rise in the price of oil. The deficit with China, however, has decreased significantly this year as can be seen in the third chart.

JAPAN CURRENT ACCOUNT BY REGION (100 billion yen)  Q4 07 Q3 07  Q2 07  Q1 07  2007  2006 2005 2004
Total 57.6 68.6 56.0 68.3 250.0 198.5 182.6 186.2
 United States                           n.a. 33. 26.9 37.4 n.a. 130.8 111.2 96.9
 Western Europe n.a. 21.6 19.4 24.3 n.a. 66.9 51.6 46.0
  Central/South America n.a. 6.1 4.5 8.0 n.a. 21.8 19.1 11.8
  China n.a. -2.0 -3.5 -4.2 n.a. -22.0 -25.6 -14.9
 Indonesia n.a. -4.3 -4.0 -4.1 n.a. -15.2 -9.1 -6.7
 Middle East                           n.a. -25.5 -23.8 -22.1 n.a. -101.5 -74.1 -48.1
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