TOKYO, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Japan posted a current account surplus of 1.42 trillion yen (12.34 billion U.S. dollars) in November, the Ministry of Finance said Thursday in a preliminary report, climbing 28 percent on year and marking a surplus for the 29th successive month.
While coming in slightly below median economists' forecasts, the headline figure marked the largest surplus for the month of November since 2007.
The goods trade balance swung to a 313.4 billion yen surplus as the yen's rise against a basket of other currencies impacted oil and other import costs.
The value of crude oil imports, which Japan has been heavily dependent on since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, fell 14.4 percent in the reporting month, as average crude oil prices rose 3.3 percent from a year earlier.
The ministry also said that overall, imports were down 10.7 percent to 5.57 trillion yen, following a 15.9 percent drop to 5.16 trillion yen in October, while exports dropped 0.8 percent on year to 5.89 trillion yen, after falling 9.4 percent to 5.74 trillion yen a month earlier.
While the capital account revealed a deficit of 8.8 billion yen, the financial account saw a surplus of 1.09 trillion yen, up from the 744.6 billion yen booked a month earlier, the ministry said.
The primary income surplus slumped 21.6 percent on year to 1.20 trillion yen, however, as the profit surplus on direct foreign investment decreased in the reporting period, according to the ministry.
Japan's current account surplus is one of the broadest measures of its trade with the rest of the world and the data is keenly eyed by the Bank of Japan (BOJ) and the finance ministry ahead of new potential policy changes or monetary easing or tapering measures.
In Japan, the current account surplus increases the nation's net foreign assets by the corresponding amount, and a current account deficit does the reverse.