TOKYO — Japan's trade surplus declined for a seventh straight month in November, falling 36% from a year earlier as the stronger yen continued to affect the country's imports and exports, the Finance Ministry said Thursday.
The surplus, which was not adjusted for seasonal factors, totaled $4.74 billion, down from $7.4 billion in November, 1986.
Japan's trade surplus with the United States was $4.2 billion, a drop of 14% from $5 billion in November of last year, the official said.
The rising value of the yen against the dollar has made Japanese goods more expensive abroad and foreign goods cheaper in Japan.
The Finance Ministry announcement came the same day as the U.S. Commerce Department reported a record $17.6-billion U.S. trade deficit for October. The Japanese surplus figures should be reflected in the Commerce Department's report for November, which will not be released until next month.
The Finance Ministry official said Japan's imports from the United States rose 40.1% last month to $2.8 billion from November, 1986.