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Japan current account surplus lowest since 1985

Published on Feb 8, 2013 12:37 PM
Containers are unloaded from a container ship at a pier in Tokyo on Feb 8, 2013. Japan booked a 2.8 billion USD current account deficit for December as exports to China and Europe slumped, while a full-year surplus was the lowest in almost three decades, official data showed. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's current account surplus last year shrank to its lowest in almost three decades, data showed on Friday, as exports to China and Europe slumped in a worrying sign for the world's third-largest economy.

The finance ministry said the current account, the broadest measure of Japan's trade with the rest of the world, came in at 4.7 trillion yen (S$62 billion) in 2012, the smallest annual surplus since comparable data was made available in 1985.

The current account measures not only international trade in goods but also services, tourism and Japan's foreign investments abroad.

The news was also poor for December, with the country logging a monthly deficit of 264.1 billion yen, reversing a surplus of 265.7 billion yen a year before.

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