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Japan’s Account Surplus Falls

August 10, 2000

TOKYO (AP) _ Japan’s broadest measure of trade fell 5.5 percent in June from the same month a year ago, the government announced Thursday.

The current account surplus dropped to $12.1 billion, measured before adjustment for seasonal factors, the Finance Ministry said.

For the first half of 2000 the surplus rose 8.8 percent to $62.3 billion, the ministry said.

The current account measures trade in merchandise, services, tourism and investment. It is calculated by determining the difference between Japan’s income from foreign sources against payments on foreign obligations. It excludes net capital investment.

Economists had estimated on average that the June surplus would stand at $13.3 billion.

A huge surplus has been a constant source of friction with the United States and other trading partners. They have been urging Japan to boost its economy to stimulate imports. Japan is struggling to emerge from its worst economic downturn in 50 years.

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