Japan's current account surplus shrank 34.3 percent year-on-year to 16,280.3 billion yen (176.96 billion U.S. dollars) in 2008, said a government report Monday.
A slump in exports due to contracting overseas demand is one key factor behind the plunge in current account surplus, according to a preliminary report released by the finance ministry.
The surplus in trade of goods and services dived by 81.7 percent to 1,797.3 billion yen (19.54 billion dollars), said the report.
And the balance in merchandise trade logged a surplus of 4,033.8 billion yen (43.84 billion dollars), down 67.3 percent from the previous year.
In December, the current account surplus nosedived 92.1 percent year-on-year to 125.4 billion yen (1.36 billion dollars).
The current account balance, the broadest gauge of trade in goods, services, tourism and investment, is calculated by determining the difference between a nation's income from foreign sources and payments on foreign obligations, excluding net capital investment.