Japan is expected to report its biggest current account surplus in 10 years this week, made up of solid income from overseas investments and a strong trade balance boosted by exports and falls in oil prices, a Reuters poll showed.
The current account surplus was likely to be 3.0 trillion Japanese yen ($26.6 billion) in March, the poll of 17 analysts found. This would mark the 33rd straight month of surplus and the biggest amount since March 2007. Japan posted a 2.81 trillion yen surplus in February.
Japan’s trade and current account surpluses have taken on critical importance as U.S. President Donald Trump pursues an “America First” platform, via which he has pledged to shrink the U.S. trade deficit with big exporters such as Japan.
A strong current account surplus and a large trade surplus with the United States kept Japan on the U.S. Treasury’s currency watchlist released last month.”The overseas income balance continues to be high, and the trade balance has sustained a surplus trend since last year,” said Koya Miyamae, senior economist at SMBC Nikko Securities.
“Depending on what policies Trump adopts, the trade balance can shrink or increase, but I think the general trend (a trade surplus) will continue,” Miyamae added. The finance ministry will publish the data at 8:50 a.m. Tokyo time on May 11.