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Japan’s Trade Surplus Jumps 62.2%

<i> Reuters</i>

The surplus in Japan’s current account, the broadest measure of trade, rose 62.2% in May from a year earlier to $10 billion, the Finance Ministry said. The surprisingly large surplus reflects a continued dampening of imports because of weak domestic demand, economists said. “In the past, Japan’s trade surplus rose on higher exports. Now the reason . . . is that imports are falling faster than the drop in exports. There’s no gain for the economy here,” said Minako Iida of investment bank Deutsche Morgan Grenfell. Moves in foreign exchange markets, a decline in oil prices and Japanese economic conditions were also behind the rise, a ministry official said. “Once the effects of the government economic steps appear, the rises in the surplus will slow down,” he said. The impact of a government stimulus package of more than $113.5 billion is expected to appear late this year.


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