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Japan's current account surplus tumbles 43% in March

  • Japan's current account surplus slumped to ¥116.4B ($1.14B) in March from ¥612.7B in February and badly missed consensus of ¥347.7B, hurt by weak exports and rising imports ahead of a hike in sales tax in April.
  • For the fiscal year ending March 31, the surplus was ¥789.9B, the lowest on record.
  • The falling current-account surplus highlights how exports haven't been as strong as the Bank of Japan has predicted despite a sharp fall in the yen. That has prompted fears for Japan's economic recovery and increased speculation that the BOJ might add to its massive asset-buying policy.
  • There have also been fears that Japan's current account could slide into permanent deficit, which could weaken confidence in Japan's massive debt. That scenario is being held off by a surplus in overseas income.
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