|A share prices board in Tokyo. Japan posted a trade surplus of two billion dollars in August, compared with a deficit recorded in the same month last year, official figures showed Thursday.(AFP file)|
TOKYO (AFP) – Japan posted a trade surplus of two billion dollars in August, compared with a deficit recorded in the same month last year, official figures showed Thursday.
The surplus came to 185.7 billion yen (2.0 billion dollars), against a shortfall of 314.2 billion yen in August 2008, the finance ministry said.
It was the seventh consecutive month that Japan's exports exceeded its imports by value.
The figure beat market forecasts for a surplus of about 175 billion yen, but was smaller than July's surplus of 377.9 billion yen.
Exports shrank 36.0 percent last month from a year earlier to 4.51 trillion yen, hit by sharp falls in shipments of automobiles and steel. Imports fell 41.3 percent to 4.33 trillion yen due to lower energy costs.
Japan's heavy reliance on foreign markets to drive its economic growth left it highly vulnerable to the recent global recession.
Its economy returned to positive growth in April-June, limping out of a year-long recession, but exports and factory output remain much lower than before the economic crisis and unemployment is at a post-war high.