Japan reported posted a trade surplus of $2.05 billion (185.7 billion yen) in August 2009 against a deficit of $3.47 billion (314.2 billion yen) in the same month last year, official figures showed.
This is the seventh consecutive month that Japan has posted a trade surplus despite an overall fall in its trade with other countries. Japan, heavily dependent on trade to drive economic growth, saw its production and exports plummet in the wake of the global economic slowdown.
The trade surplus in August this year, however, was smaller than the surplus of $4.17 billion (377.9 billion yen) recorded in the previous month, data release by the finance ministry showed.
Japan's exports shrank 36.0 per cent to $49.78 billion (4511.105 billion yen) in August 2009 from $77.80 billion (7051.439 billion yen) in the same month an year earlier, hit by sharp falls in shipments of automobiles and steel.
Japan's imports fell 41.3 per cent to $47.70 billion (4.33 trillion yen) in August this year from $81.22 billion (7.36 billion yen) in the same month of the previous year, due to a decline in oil imports.
The Japanese economy, driven by exports, has been battered badly by the global economic downturn and a consequent fall in demand for its products, mainly consumer durables, including automobiles and electronic goods.