The nation’s customs-cleared trade surplus for the month of February grew 88.7 percent from the same month of last year, reaching 1.28 trillion yen, provisional figures released March 19 showed.

It was the 11th straight month in which the figure recorded a year-on-year increase, according to the Finance Ministry, and the largest monthly figure recorded since March 1995, when the surplus hit 1.29 trillion yen. Ministry officials noted that while solid economic performance in the United States and Europe served to boost exports, sluggish demand at home, coupled with the economic turmoil in Asia, led to a decrease in imports.

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