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Japan exports fall at slower pace

JAPAN'S exports in June fell by the smallest margin in six months, adding to evidence that global demand is recovering as the recession loosens its grip.

Shipments from the world's second-biggest economy fell 35.7 percent from a year earlier, an improvement from a 40.9 percent decline in May, the government said yesterday. Exports have fallen every month since October.

As a result, Japan posted a trade surplus of 508 billion yen (US$5.4 billion) - the first on-year increase in 20 months, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Overall exports in June stood at 4.6 trillion yen. Imports fell by 41.9 percent to 4.1 trillion yen.

Export declines eased in all of Japan's major markets, particularly China with its solid demand for machinery.

It's good news for the Japanese economy, which relies heavily on the world to buy its products. The plunge in global demand that followed last year's global financial crisis sent Japan into its steepest recession since World War II.


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