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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 September 2007, 06:05 GMT 07:05 UK
Japan sees jump in trade surplus
Japanese port of Yokohama, south of Tokyo
Japanese exports remain strong
Japan's trade surplus hit a 24-year high in August, with surging exports to other Asian nations and Europe offsetting slower sales to the US.

The monthly surplus grew 288% from a year earlier to 743bn yen ($6.47bn; 3.2bn), led by rising car exports.

While exports to other Asian countries soared 16.4% and to Europe by 15.6%, those to the US rose by just 4.6%.

The weak US figure is being seen as a further sign that the American economy is slowing.

'Offsetting US dip'

The trade surplus recorded in August, as reported by the Ministry of Finance, was ahead of market expectations.

Analysts said the big increase in exports across Asia and to Europe, would ease fears that the apparent economic slowdown in the US could hit Japan's economy.

Japan's overall exports rose 14.5% in August with car exports up by 22%, while imports grew by 5.7%.

"Asian economies will likely continue to grow strongly and Japanese exports to this region will continue to rise," said Mamoru Yamazaki, chief economist for RBS Securities Japan in Tokyo.

"That should offset the expected slowdown in the US economy and US demand."

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