Japan’s current account surplus for April down 69.5%

Japan’s current account surplus plunged 69.5 percent from a year earlier in April, the finance ministry said Wednesday, as the March earthquake and tsunami badly hampered factory production.

While the drop was much smaller than falls of more than 80 percent forecast by economists, it was the smallest surplus for the month of April in 26 years.

The surplus in the current account — the broadest measure of trade with the rest of the world — fell to 405.6 billion yen ($5.0 billion) in April from 1.33 trillion yen a year earlier, official data showed.

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