May 13, 2009

Japanese trade indicator falls sharply

Japan's Finance Ministry said Wednesday the global recession had pushed its trade balance account surplus down 50.2 percent from a year ago.

The account is linked to worldwide economies, as it shows how much Japanese currency foreign investors are buying to conduct business in Japan.

After posting new records each year from 2002 through 2007, the account has fallen to the lowest level since 1985, Kyodo news reported.

The balance also reflects the sharp drop in Japanese exports that has come with a downturn in demand from Europe and the United States.

Atsushi Matsumoto at Mizuho Research Institute said exports will slowly recover from this fiscal year.

A big surplus is unthinkable. But Japan's current account surplus could register double-digit grown in fiscal 2009 as a fall in crude oil prices will likely lead to a cut in the total import value, he said.