Japan's December trade surplus, projected to fall...

Japan's December trade surplus, projected to fall only slightly from a year earlier, is likely to be a disappointment after significant reductions every month for the past six months, economists said. Most economists are forecasting the merchandise trade surplus to be around $8 billion, compared to $8.7 billion in December, 1986. "A small decline would be bad news as Japan has a lion's share of the trade with the U.S. and lessens the hope for America to quickly cut its deficit," a bank economist said. Japan will announce its trade data for December on Tuesday, after Washington releases trade figures for November on Friday.

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