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Economy in Brief

Japan's Current Account Balance And Trade In Goods
by Louise Curley June 8, 2010

Japan's seasonally adjusted current account balance, reported today, declined 393.5 billion yen from 1,773.1 billion yen in March to 1,379.6 billion yen in April. There has however been strong uptrend in the balance since the low point of 527.9 billion yen reached in January 2009.  The unseasonally adjusted data show an 88% increase from 660.6 billion yen in April, 2009 to 1,242.1 billion yen, in April 2010.

Much of the improvement in the recovery of the current account balance is due to an increase in the trade balance.  Japanese exports increased 40.4% from April, 2009 to April, 2010 while imports increased 24.6%.  The first two charts show the year to year percent increases in exports to North America, mainly the U. S., Western Europe and Asia, mainly China, and in imports from those same three broad areas.  Over the past five years, Japanese exports to, and imports from imports from, Asia have generally risen faster than those to North America and Western Europe.  Until  late 2008 and early 2009, Japanese exports to Asia fluctuated between 45 and 51% of total exports.  In mid 2009, exports to Asia began to accelerate and in March and April of this year, they accounted for more than 56% of total exports.  There was no corresponding jump in the percent of imports from Asia.  The resulting rise in Japan's balance on trade in goods with Asia has been accompanied by a decline in Japan's trade surplus with North America as can be seen in the third chart.

JAPAN Apr 10  Mar 10 Apr 09 Y/Y % Y/Y
Bil Yen Chg
2009 2008 2007
Current Account Balance (SA)  (Billion Yen) 1379.6 1773.1 848.8 62.5 530.8 13289 16549 24688
Current Account Balance  (NSA)  (Billion Yen) 1242.1 2534.2 660.6 88.1 581.5 13287 16380 24794
 
Exports (Billion Yen) 5887.9 6003.6 4194.9 40.4 1693.2 54171 81018 83931
North America  951.9 940.3 708.6 34.3 243.3 9456 15331 18135
Western Europe 702.8 683.6 576.8 21.8 126.0 7077 11445 12329
Asia 3323.5 3380.4 2287.9 45.2 1036.6 29333 39966 40401
 
Imports (Billion Yen) 5147.4 5053.7 4145.7 24.6 1001.6 51499 78955 73136
North America  573.4 606.0 534.8 7.21 38.6 6378 9371 9530
Western Europe 493.3 590.0 475.5 3.75 17.8 6137 7999 8299
Asia 2353.9 2203.6 1915.5 22.9 43.8 22989 32034 31564
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