Japan reports biggest trade surplus in over 4 years in Feb
TOKYO (AP) — Japan reports that it posted its biggest trade surplus in over four years in February, thanks to a strengthening in the yen and weak oil prices.
The 242.8 billion yen ($2.2 billion) surplus reported Thursday compares with a deficit of 426 billion yen a year earlier and a deficit of 648.8 billion yen in January.
It was the biggest surplus since September 2011.
However, both exports and imports fell, suggesting persisting weakness in demand both in Japan and overseas.
Surging oil and gas imports following the closures of Japan's nuclear plants after the 2011 disaster in Fukushima pushed Japan from perennial surpluses into deficits. A weaker yen accentuated those costs, but the prolonged slump in crude oil prices has alleviated some of the high cost of energy imports.