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Japan's current-account surplus logs first decline in 5 months

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TOKYO — Japan’s current-account surplus narrowed 5.6% on the year in November, to 1.34 trillion yen ($12 billion), marking the first decline since June, according to preliminary data released by the Ministry of Finance on Friday. 

Japan has run a current-account surplus for 41 consecutive months. But the cushion contracted in November mainly because of a smaller trade surplus, due to higher crude oil prices. 

The trade surplus — exports minus imports — fell 46.8% on the year, to 181 billion yen. Although both imports and exports increased, imports expanded faster during the month.

The ministry noted that oil prices were 27% higher on the year, in yen terms.