Japan’s current-account surplus narrowed in February as the global recession eroded demand for the nation’s exports.
The surplus shrank 55.6 percent to 1.117 trillion yen ($11 billion) from a year earlier, the Ministry of Finance said in Tokyo today. The median estimate of 24 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a gap of 1.07 trillion yen. Japan had a 172.8 billion yen deficit in January, its first in 13 years.
The world’s second-largest economy is headed for its worst recession since 1945 as plunging overseas demand forces companies from Nissan Motor Corp. to Panasonic Corp. to cut production and fire workers. Confidence among Japan’s biggest manufacturers fell to a record low in March and executives signaled more spending and job cuts, the Bank of Japan’s Tankan survey showed last week.