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Japan's current-account surplus to shrink 75% over 2 years: survey

Economists point to fossil fuel dependence, negative feedback from weak yen

Workers watch a liquefied natural gas tanker at a power plant south of Tokyo. Japan imports virtually all of its fossil fuels, and the recent commodities surge has been a major blow to its balance sheets.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Economists expect Japan's current-account surplus for this fiscal year to plunge by roughly 75% from two years earlier, a Nikkei survey shows, weighed down by a weak yen and the country's dependence on expensive fossil fuels.

The surplus dipped by 22.3% in fiscal 2021 to a seven-year low of 12.64 trillion yen ($97.1 billion), preliminary data published Thursday by the Finance Ministry shows. This drop, from a surplus of over 16 trillion yen in fiscal 2020, was due largely to a 1.65 trillion yen trade deficit caused by surging energy prices.

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