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P. M. BRIEFING : Japan's May Trade Surplus Tumbles

June 30, 1989| From Times wire service s

TOKYO — Japan reported today that its broad-based trade surplus fell by nearly 40% in May, although economists said the reduction is only temporary.

The country's current account surplus, which measures trade in goods and services, shrank to $3.39 billion in May from $5.57 billion a year earlier. Much of the improvement was caused by soaring imports, which surged 20%, primarily on the value of oil imports that are unlikely to be repeated.

The narrowing of the surplus was welcome news for Japanese officials, who are worried about attacks on the country's trade performance at next month's economic summit in Paris. But economists said the good times will not last.

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