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P.M. Briefing : Japanese Trade Surplus Down 11%

From Times Wire Services

Japan said today that its nagging trade surplus shrank 11% in June from a year ago, but many economists say the improvement was a temporary side effect of the dollar’s recent strength against the yen.

The unadjusted June trade surplus shrank to $5.29 billion on a customs-cleared basis from $5.95 billion a year earlier. In yen terms, it widened 1.8% to 758.7 billion yen from 745.1 billion.

“The underlying trend has not changed,” said Shoichi Enkyo, economist at the Bank of Tokyo, referring to a recent slowing in the expansion of imports and firming export growth. Exports grew 2.7% in June to $22.65 billion from a year earlier, while imports rose 7.8% to $17.36 billion.


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