P.M. BRIEFING : Japan-U.S. Trade Surplus Dips 15.4%, Largest Reduction Ever

From Times Wire Services

Japan’s trade surplus with the United States shrank by 15.4% in 1990 as it shipped fewer cars and bought more U.S. airplanes, the Finance Ministry said today.

Worldwide, higher oil prices and a considerable growth in imports brought Japan’s trade surplus down by 18.5% to $52.4 billion, the ministry said.

It was the fourth consecutive annual decline in the global figure, the ministry said in an annual report.

Japan calculated its 1990 surplus with the United States at $38.03 billion. The decline of $6.9 billion from the 1989 surplus was the largest on record, said Motoo Yamagishi of the ministry’s Statistics Bureau.


But U.S. Under Secretary of State Richard McCormack, visiting Tokyo, said the imbalance remains “staggeringly large,” and he questioned whether the improvement would continue.

Globally, Japan’s exports grew 4.3% in 1990 to $286.97 billion, and imports rose 11.2% to $234.57 billion.