Japan's current account surplus down 48.8 percent

By AFP

July 15, 2010 Updated May 12, 2009 at 9:01 PM CDT

Japan's current account surplus in March fell 48.8 percent from a year earlier as exports slowed amid the global recession, official figures showed.

The surplus came to 1,485.6 billion yen (15.3 billion dollars) against a surplus of 2,902.4 billion yen a year earlier, falling for the 13rd consecutive month, the finance ministry said.

Japan's surplus in trade in goods plunged 89.3 percent to 132.9 yen, with exports falling 46.5 percent against a decline of 37.8 percent in imports.

For the fiscal year ended in March, the current account surplus tumbled 50.2 percent from the previous year to 12,229.1 billion yen, the fastest pace in comparable data going back to 1985.

Historically, Japan has run a large surplus in its current account, the broadest measure of trade in goods and services, thanks to brisk exports of cars, electronics and other goods.

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