Japan's Current Account Surplus at 5-Year Low as Exports Plunge


Due to plunging exports relative to imports Japan's current account surplus is barely positive.

Exports Plunge 25.7% From a Year Ago

JapanToday reports Japan's Current Account Surplus Shrinks to 5-Year Low.

Japan posted its smallest current account surplus in more than five years in June, Ministry of Finance data showed on Tuesday, mainly due to a slump in exports, highlighting the heavy hit to external demand from the coronavirus pandemic.


  • The current account surplus was 167.5 billion yen ($1.58 billion), the smallest monthly surplus since January 2015.
  • Exports plunged 25.7% in June from a year ago, hit hard by falling shipments of cars and car parts to the United States.
  • Imports shed an annual 14.4%, following a 27.7% annual fall in May.
  • Japan's e trade deficit in June widened to 157.7 billion yen.
  • A 99.9% drop in foreign tourists due to immigration restrictions imposed over the health crisis sent the travel account to a 157.7 billion yen deficit in June.

Japanese Exports

Japanese Exports 2020-06

There is little reason to expect a sudden sharp reversal.

US Trade in Goods With Japan

US Trade in Goods With Japan 2020 June

The above chart from the Census Department.

As I have commented before, Trump's best chance to reduce trade deficits with the world was not tariffs but rather to have one hell of a recession.



Comments (11)
No. 1-6

I’m really getting sick of all the winning at this point

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

US trade deficit with China thru 6 months ...

... $132 billion


83 days till election.

A lesson to be learned here is that there needs to be some alternatives to endless unneeded consumption.


At what point will financial assets reflect reality and not this engineered inflation?


If Japan's exports are down that's china , Japan's largest export market. Germany also exports a lot to China. Both countries are leveraged to sell machinery to China


I am amazed at just how gullible the electorate really is. Trump has managed to promulgate this trade deficit issue like nobody has before. If trade deficits are such a problem, then explain how the U.S., while running a trade deficit throughout the 19th century, became an industrial powerhouse by the turn of the century.

Trade deficits result when foreigners want to invest. Tariffs serve only to hurt the domestic economy and thus reduce the attractiveness of the investment. So, I hope this recession will least convince people of the futility of reducing trade deficits.

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