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Japan’s current account surplus grew 15.9 percent in May from a year earlier to 1.614 trillion yen, a turnaround from the 20.2 percent fall the previous month, due to brisk exports to the United States and Asian economies, the Finance Ministry said Thursday.

The balance of trade in goods and services posted a surplus of 399.6 billion yen, up 25.2 percent and the first increase in two months, the ministry said in a preliminary report.

The surplus in merchandise trade rose 6.9 percent to 467.4 billion yen for the first increase in 19 months.

Exports expanded 18.8 percent to 5.439 trillion yen. Imports grew 20.1 percent to 4.972 trillion yen, spurred by soaring oil prices and firm domestic demand.

The balance of trade in services chalked up a deficit of 67.8 billion yen, down 42.2 percent.

Net income from investments overseas rose 15.7 percent to 1.308 trillion yen, up for the 22nd straight month.

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