June 7, 2016 - 5:20 PM EDT
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UPDATE1: Japan logs current account surplus in April for 22nd month

Japan posted a current account surplus for the 22nd consecutive month in April, the government said Wednesday, as declining crude oil prices reduced imports and a rising number of foreign tourists continued to push up a travel surplus.

The surplus expanded 41.7 percent from a year earlier to 1.88 trillion yen ($17.5 billion), the Finance Ministry said.

Among key components in the current account, one of the widest gauges of a country's international trade, goods trade registered a surplus of 697.1 billion yen, with exports dropping 10.4 percent from a year earlier and imports sliding 23.1 percent.

The value of crude oil imports fell 51.8 percent as average oil prices slid 34.3 percent to $36.96 per barrel in the month. The value of liquefied natural gas imports plunged 44.5 percent.

Japan has been relying heavily on energy imports since the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster led most of the country's commercial reactors to remain offline amid heightened public concern about their safety.

The surplus in the primary income account, which reflects how much Japan earns from foreign investments, fell 18.9 percent to 1.78 trillion yen, due partly to a firming yen against other currencies.

The travel surplus climbed 16.1 percent to 155.9 billion yen, a record high for the month since comparable data became available in 1996, as the number of foreign tourists increased 18.0 percent in April from a year earlier to 2.08 million, according to the ministry.


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Source: Equities.com News (June 7, 2016 - 5:20 PM EDT)

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