Japan's trade surplus up for 10th straight month in November

11:31, December 21, 2009      

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Japan posted a trade surplus amounting to a better-than-expected 373.9 billion yen (4.14 U.S. billion dollars) in November, Ministry of Finance data showed in a preliminary report on Monday.

November's surplus marks the 10th consecutive month of positive figures, which have been attributed to Japan's export sector to parts of Asia recovering, despite the economic downturn.

Total exports had fallen by 6.2 percent from the year before to4.992 trillion yen, marking the 14th straight month of decline, but an improvement on the 23.2 percent drop seen in October.

On year, imports declined by 16.8 percent to 4.618 trillion yen, marking the 13th month of contraction.

The Ministry of Finance data also showed Monday that exports to China, Japan's largest trading partner, had risen 7.8 percent to 9.222 billion yen and that shipping Japanese goods to Asia had risen4.7 percent to 2.698 trillion yen. Both marked the first rise since September 2008.

Trade figures are measured on a customs-cleared basis before adjustment for seasonal factors and positive figures such as Monday are a positive sign for Japan's economy, which relies heavily on exports for growth amid persistent weakness in domestic economic activity.

Source: Xinhua
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