TOKYO — Japan's trade surplus with the United States hit a record $39.5 billion in 1985 as its exports to the United States rose nearly 9% and imports of American goods fell 4%, the Finance Ministry said today in a preliminary report.
The surplus figure, however, is much lower than an already released U.S. estimate of $50 billion for the year.
U.S. officials put Japan's 1984 surplus at nearly $37 billion, while Japan reported it at only $33.07 billion.
A Finance Ministry official said Japan's 1985 exports to the United States rose 8.9% over the previous year's level to a record $65.29 billion, in large part because of an increase in the value of auto exports.
Japan's imports from the United States declined in large part due to a sharp drop in Japan's purchases of U.S. agricultural products and a fall in prices of farm goods.