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June 17, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Japan Trade Surplus Shrinks: Japan's merchandise trade surplus shrank 60.5% in May from the same month a year ago to $2.12 billion, or 231.687 billion yen, the Finance Ministry said. That's the 18th straight monthly decline. Economists forecast the surplus would be 142 billion yen, according to a Bloomberg Business News survey. Projections ranged from 33 billion yen to 245 billion yen. Japan's trade surplus with the United States in May fell 39.6% to 167.675 billion yen, the ministry said. Global imports to Japan rose 32.6% to 3.174 trillion yen, and exports increased 14.2% to 3.406 trillion yen, the ministry said.

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