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BRIEFLY

December 28, 1987

While Japan's trade surplus is not vanishing, trade figures for November show the money earned from export trade is steadily declining. November figures from the Ministry of Finance show the monthly surplus dropped sharply to $6.64 billion from $8.50 billion a year ago. The country's current account--the balance of all trade in goods, services and invisible earnings--also fell, to $5.79 billion from $8.14 billion in November, 1986. The current account surplus has now fallen for seven consecutive months, and should continue to do so, ministry officials said. If the decline continues, economists believe that international pressure on Japan to do more to cut its export-driven trade surpluses will also decline.

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