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Japan's Balance of Payments for 2012*1

  • *1This report is an English translation of the Japanese original released on May 2, 2013.

July 24, 2013
International Department
Bank of Japan

Summary

Japan's current account surplus halved to 4.8 trillion yen in 2012 from 9.6 trillion yen in 2011, mainly due to an increase in the deficit on goods. The capital and financial account shifted to net outflows of 8.2 trillion yen in 2012 from net inflows of 1.2 trillion yen in 2011, mainly because portfolio investment shifted to net outflows due to a decrease in net purchases of Japanese securities by foreign investors (inflows) and an increase in net purchases of foreign securities by Japanese investors (outflows). Reserve assets decreased for the first time in 14 years, falling by 3.1 trillion yen in 2012, compared to an increase of 13.8 trillion yen in 2011. This was mainly because no foreign exchange interventions were conducted and some of the assets were employed in loans to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, which are not classified as reserve assets.

Japan's Balance of Payments1

Japan's Balance of Paymentsbil. yen, %
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Highlights
Current account 16,661.8 13,735.6 17,887.9 9,550.7 4,823.7 The surplus decreased for the second consecutive year, mainly due to an increase in the deficit on goods. The surplus registered a record low since 1985, from when comparable data are available.
Change from the previous year -8,272.4 -2,926.2 +4,152.3 -8,337.2 -4,727.1
Year-on-year percent change -33.2 -17.6 +30.2 -46.6 -49.5
Goods and services 1,889.9 2,124.9 6,564.6 -3,378.1 -8,304.1 The deficit increased.
Change from the previous year -7,935.3 +234.9 +4,439.8 -9,942.7 -4,926.1
Goods 4,027.8 4,038.1 7,978.9 -1,616.5 -5,814.1 The deficit increased.
Change from the previous year -8,294.6 +10.3 +3,940.9 -9,595.4 -4,197.6
Year-on-year percent change -67.3 +0.3 +97.6 Negative 3.6 times
Exports 77,334.9 50,857.2 63,921.8 62,724.8 61,442.1 Decreased for the second consecutive year.
Imports 73,307.1 46,819.1 55,942.9 64,341.2 67,256.2 Increased for the third consecutive year.
Services -2,137.9 -1,913.2 -1,414.3 -1,761.6 -2,490.0 The deficit increased for the second consecutive year.
Transportation -731.6 -838.3 -662.3 -888.1 -1,211.9 The deficit increased.
Travel -1,763.1 -1,388.6 -1,287.5 -1,296.3 -1,061.7 The deficit decreased.
Other services 356.9 313.7 535.6 422.9 -216.4 Turned to a deficit.
Income 16,123.4 12,774.2 12,414.9 14,038.4 14,272.3 The surplus increased for the second consecutive year.
Of which:
  Direct investment income
3,811.6 3,460.2 2,851.3 3,821.8 4,214.2 The surplus increased for the second consecutive year.
Portfolio investment income 11,327.8 8,792.2 8,993.0 9,538.6 9,396.0 The surplus decreased for the first time in three years.
Current transfers -1,351.5 -1,163.5 -1,091.7 -1,109.6 -1,144.5 The deficit increased.
Capital and financial account -18,389.5 -14,267.8 -17,697.1 1,172.2 -8,187.8 Shifted to net outflows.
Financial account2,3 -17,831.2 -13,802.5 -17,263.0 1,144.0 -8,107.4 Shifted to net outflows.
Direct investment -10,707.4 -5,872.5 -5,048.7 -8,727.5 -9,640.1 Net outflows increased for the second consecutive year.
Outward direct investment -13,232.0 -6,989.6 -4,938.8 -8,587.2 -9,778.2 Net investments (outflows) increased for the second consecutive year.
Inward direct investment 2,524.6 1,117.1 -109.9 -140.3 138.2 Shifted to net investments (inflows) for the first time in three years.
Portfolio investment -24,321.8 -21,254.9 -16,236.1 15,296.5 -6,116.0 Shifted to net outflows.
Outward portfolio investment -13,978.2 -16,303.6 -25,834.1 -6,122.8 -14,696.8 Net purchases (outflows) increased, mainly due to an increase in net purchases of foreign bonds and notes.
Equity securities -6,414.9 -3,030.2 -2,057.4 -928.8 2,135.1
Bonds and notes -7,329.9 -13,173.6 -24,040.6 -5,925.8 -17,048.4
Money market instruments -233.4 -99.7 263.8 731.8 216.5
Inward portfolio investment -10,343.6 -4,951.3 9,598.0 21,419.3 8,580.8 Net purchases (inflows) decreased.
Equity securities -7,464.1 964.2 2,919.7 550.7 2,351.2
Bonds and notes -4,419.1 -7,711.7 437.5 4,175.2 2,719.5
Money market instruments 1,539.6 1,796.2 6,240.8 16,693.4 3,510.0
Financial derivatives 2,456.2 948.7 1,026.2 1,347.0 -590.3 Shifted to net outflows for the first time in seven years.
Other investment 14,510.0 12,247.2 2,995.4 -6,779.8 8,250.5 Shifted to net inflows.
Assets 1,656.8 18,244.3 -8,412.0 -10,761.5 -4,733.3
Liabilities 12,853.1 -5,997.1 11,407.5 3,981.6 12,983.8
Capital account -558.3 -465.3 -434.1 28.2 -80.4 Shifted to net outflows.
Of which:
  Capital transfers
-387.2 -238.5 -328.5 37.5 17.2
Changes in reserve assets2 -3,200.1 -2,526.5 -3,792.5 -13,789.7 3,051.5 Reserve assets decreased for the first time in 14 years.
Errors and omissions 4,927.9 3,058.7 3,601.7 3,066.9 312.6 -

Notes:

  1. As figures have been rounded to the nearest final digit, there may be slight discrepancies between the sums of the constituent items and the totals as shown.
  2. Negative figures in the financial account and changes in reserve assets represent financial outflows (i.e., increases in assets and decreases in liabilities).
  3. Figures for portfolio investment and other investment in the financial account exclude securities lending transactions. Therefore, figures in the financial account do not add up to the total.

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