P.M. BRIEFING : Japanese Trade Surplus Up 12%

From Times Wire Services

The surplus in the broadest measure of Japan's trade rose 12.2% in June from a year earlier, snapping two consecutive months of decline, the Finance Ministry said today.

The surplus in the current account, the widest measure of a nation's trade in goods and services, widened to $4.78 billion from $4.26 billion in June, 1989, according to the ministry.

The June increase followed a 57.5% decline in the current account in May on a year-on-year basis. In May, the surplus stood at $1.46 billion.

Finance Ministry officials attributed the rise in the current account surplus to higher exports and a decline in oil prices. But they added that it was too early to determine whether the downward trend had fully reversed.

The merchandise trade surplus for June rose 8% from a year earlier to $7.05 billion on an unadjusted basis.

Exports rose for the first time in nine months, increasing 3.3% to $23.10 billion. Imports rose to $16.05 billion, up 1.4% from a year earlier.

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