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TOKYO: Japan posted a fourth straight current-account surplus, as income from overseas investments masks the failure of the yen’s slide to boost exports.

The excess in the widest measure of trade was 522.8 billion yen (RM16.2 billion) in May, the finance ministry reported here yesterday, beating the median forecast of 417.5 billion yen in a Bloomberg survey. Exports rose two per cent from a year earlier.

Export volumes remain under the level when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to power in December 2012, despite the yen’s 16 per cent slide against the dollar over the period. Abe’s task is to ensure his growth strategy — the third of his so-called “Three Arrows” of Abenomics — gives companies enough of an edge over overseas rivals to boost outgoing shipments.

“The strength of recovery in global demand will play a bigger role than the currency in affecting Japanese exports,” said Koichi Fujishiro, an economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute. Bloomberg

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