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The current account surplus grew 0.8 percent in July from a year earlier to 1.65 trillion, yen logging its first increase in three months, the Finance Ministry said Monday.

The increase stemmed from a rise in the income account, which outpaced a contraction in the surplus in trade in goods and services due to soaring oil prices, the ministry said in a preliminary report.

The current account balance — the broadest gauge of trade in goods and services — is the difference between a nation’s income from foreign sources and foreign obligations payable, excluding net capital investment.

The balance of trade in goods and services posted a surplus of 710.7 billion, yen down 23.2 percent, as record-high oil prices inflated the value of imports, it said.

The surplus in merchandise trade fell 21.4 percent to 1.045 billion yen.

However, both exports and imports registered the second-highest levels on record, highlighting Japan’s brisk trade with the rest of the world, especially Asia.

Imports rose 13.8 percent to 4.248 trillion, yen with imports of crude oil up 48.6 percent and those of coal up 35.1 percent.

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