Japanese current account deficit hits record US$5.7 bil. last Nov.
January 15, 2014, 12:05 am TWN
TOKYO--Japan's current account deficit in November tripled year-on-year to a record US$5.7 billion as a weak yen pushed up the country's post-Fukushima energy bills, official data showed Tuesday.
The shortfall in the current account hit 592.8 billion yen, easily eclipsing a deficit of 179.6 billion yen in the same month a year earlier.
The latest data marked the largest monthly current account deficit based on comparable data stretching back to 1985, blowing past a 455.6 billion yen shortfall in January 2012, according to the finance ministry.
November's deficit largely stemmed from a growing trade imbalance stoked by Japan's heavy dependence on importing pricey fossil fuels to generate electricity, after the country's nuclear reactors were shut down in response to the 2011 tsunami-sparked atomic disaster.
The yen's sharp depreciation since late 2012 has also bloated costs.
The current account is the broadest measure of Japan's trade with the rest of the world, including not only trade in goods but also services, tourism and returns on the country's foreign investment